Talk to Us

Throughout July, the Samaritans will be running its annual awareness-raising campaign, Talk to Us. The campaign aims to let people know that Samaritans volunteers are there 24/7 for anyone who is struggling to cope.

Samaritans are challenging the UK to become better listeners by sharing expert tips on how to be a better listener. Throughout July, Samaritans branches are also holding events throughout the UK and Ireland to raise awareness of the services they offer in their local communities. Visit your local branch website to see what they’re doing during Talk To .

In 2022 there wasn’t a single second when Samaritans volunteers weren’t on the phone to someone.

If you’d like to get involved, you can help raise awareness this month by sharing Samaritans’ messaging on your own social media pages using #TalkToUs and #SamaritansAwarenessDay.

When life is difficult, Samaritans are there – day or night, 365 days a year.

They can be contacted  free on 116 123,

email them at

or visit to find your nearest branch.

Top tips for active listening

  1. Face the speaker and have eye contact. …
  2. “Listen” to non-verbal cues too. …
  3. Don’t interrupt. …
  4. Listen without judging, or jumping to conclusions. …
  5. Don’t start planning what to say next. …
  6. Show that you’re listening. …
  7. Don’t impose your opinions or solutions. …
  8. Stay focused.

For more information 10 tips for active listening – Heart Matters magazine – BHF

Alcohol Awareness Week is an awareness raising campaign and takes place from 3rd– 9th July and is a chance for the UK to get thinking about drinking. It’s a week of awareness-raising, campaigning for change, and more.

The theme for Alcohol Awareness Week 2023 is ‘Alcohol and cost’

Alcohol Awareness Week | Alcohol Change UK


The harm caused by alcohol affects millions of people every year in the form of health problems, financial worries, relationship breakdown and family difficulties. It brings with it huge social costs too with the significant pressure it places on the NHS, the emergency services, police, and workplaces.

The total social cost of alcohol to society is estimated to be at least £21 billion each year. We as individuals also spend tens of thousands of pounds on average on alcohol over the course of a lifetime.

But the personal costs are much starker with alcohol death rates increasing to the highest rate since records began since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, and millions more people suffering from worsened mental and physical health every day as a result of harmful drinking.

We can all take steps to make a change. And with improved support and prevention, we can save money and save lives.

Am I drinking too much ?

Knowing ‘how much is too much’ can be confusing when it comes to alcohol. Most of us feel that we know when we’ve overdone it, but sometimes drinking can ‘creep up’ on us and, over time, we can find that we’re drinking more than we would like. For more information around what is healthy drinking

Check how healthy your drinking is with this quiz

For more facts and information:

Mental Health Support

The Hub of Hope- ‘There is always hope for everyone’.

The Hub of Hope is the country’s first nationwide completely free and confidential mental health database service, which brings help and support together in one place. To date, the Hub of Hope has directed hundreds of thousands of people to life-changing and even life-saving support and it is now the UK’s go-to mental health support signposting tool, with thousands of local, regional, and national support groups and services listed.

The Hub of Hope support services are not only for when things become unbearable – or when at a crisis point. They are also for those times when we notice we are starting to struggle or cope day to day, or when we need extra support as we start to emerge from a particularly difficult time.

The Hub of Hope also lists support and services for family members and friends to enable them to find help for themselves, as well as for the person they are supporting.

It is recognised by the service that the wellbeing of each member of an interconnected family or community is dependent on the wellbeing of all.

Understanding depression

All of us go through periods where we feel unhappy and fed up, but sometimes experiences of low mood, sadness, tearfulness, difficulty sleeping, lack of energy and loss of interest in the things we enjoy – often referred to as depression – can persist for weeks or months.

Although a common experience, it can be very distressing – and even life-threatening for those of us who feel so desperate that we consider taking our own lives. Often it is related to the events and circumstances of our lives and the meaning that they have for us. This is particularly true for loss, or experiences that make us feel hopeless, humiliated, defeated, or ashamed. Sometimes it is hard to work out what started it, but we feel stuck in a vicious circle of despair and lethargy.

Getting help

In terms of help, different things help different people. Often practical things such as self-care are central, including exercise, eating, and sleeping well. Doing things that connect us with others, including people with similar experiences, either informally or in organised peer support groups can be a big help. Therapy or counselling can help us understand what might have led to our feelings of depression and what might be keeping it going and can help us find ways to support ourselves and to regulate our physical and emotional states. Depression and loneliness often go hand in hand, so finding ways to connect or reconnect with our friends, families and communities can be key.

You can access the website on the link below, or you can download the Hub of Hope app to help people find much needed support using their phone’s location to find key services and organisations with their area and surrounding areas.

If you prefer you can text HOPE to 85258 if you are experiencing a mental health crisis and need urgent support.

If you or someone you know feels suicidal, or may be a danger to themselves or others, call 999, your local crisis service or Crisis Text Line directly through the Hub of Hope app, via the Need Help Now? Button.

Prevent and Radicalisation

The current national terrorist threat level is ‘substantial’, which is defined as ‘an attack is likely’. This level has been unchanged since February 2022 and is set by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre and the Security Service (MI5).

For more information:

Jury convicts Yorkshire pair following trial at Leeds Crown Court

Two people from Yorkshire have been sentenced at Leeds Crown Court in June after been found guilty of multiple offences.

Darren Reynolds from Sheffield has been sentenced to 12 years imprisonment and Christine Grayson from York has been given a 12-month custodial sentence.

Grayson subscribed to conspiracy theories involving 5G mobile phone masts and used her views to justify her plan to damage and potentially destroy local 5G masts.

Reynolds posted and shared material that supported his extreme right-wing views. He collected multiple sources of illegal neo-Nazi material that included images and videos that were racist and antisemitic.

The Head of Counter Terrorism Policing Northeast, commented: “Hateful views aim to sow discord and distrust in our communities, and one post or video has the power to radicalise and encourage others to commit acts of terrorism.”

For more information, please visit:

Man jailed after witness reports bomb making manuals on laptop.

Asad Bhatti of Redhill in Surrey was handed an eight-year jail sentence in June following an investigation by Counter Terrorism Policing South East (CTPSE).

The investigation began when it was reported to police that documents with suspicious titles about bomb making were slowing down a repair process being performed on his laptop.

Although the witness did not know what the files were, he had some suspicions about the titles and decided that making a report was the right thing to do.

This led to a thorough investigation being carried out and searches being made of his properties and electronics, which ultimately helped to secure Bhatti’s conviction.

The 47-year-old was found guilty at the Old Bailey on 17 March this year of two counts of possessing an article for the purpose of terrorism, contrary to Section 57 of the Terrorism Act 2000 and three counts of making or possessing an explosive substance under suspicious circumstances contrary to Section 4 of the Explosive Substance Act.

Along with being found to have manuals Bhatti compiled and wrote about making explosives, shooting techniques and hand to hand combat. He had combat and explosive making manuals that had been published by others as well as on a USB stick.

Within a storage unit, officers found chemicals, chemistry equipment, electronic circuitry and even an improvised explosive device, which was dismantled and not deemed functional.

The Head of Counter Terrorism Policing Southeast said: “This case is a perfect example of how important it is that the people within our communities, the people who know it best, are confident to report anything suspicious into us. Each year thousands of reports like this one, help police to tackle the terrorist threat. You are not expected to be an expert, but if you have any suspicions, please make a report.”

For more information, please visit:

Local Risks . Top reported crimes for our regions

To help you identify local risks we include in each bulletin the top reported crimes for some of our regions. 

By using the link you can drill down further into postcode areas.

The following were the most commonly reported crimes during the month of April 2023:

Southport  Barrow in Furness  Middlesborough  
Violences and sexual offences                                       116 Anti-social behaviour          23 Public order                            47 Shoplifting                              25Violence & sexual offences       69 Antisocial behaviour   16
Public order                26 Criminal damage & arson             23  
Violence and sexual offences                  481 Public order          156 Shoplifting             151 Other theft            137 Shoplifting             151    

Statistics taken from

2023 updates to the Keeping children safe in education (KCSIE).

The Department for Education published the updated KCSIE guidance for schools and colleges this month. This NSPCC briefing easily summaries the 2022 and 2023 changes that have been made to the guidance, including additional pre-recruitment checks and responding to allegations.


Cyberbullying is bullying and harassment using technology. This includes trolling, mobbing, stalking, grooming or any form of abuse online. Cyberbullying is most certainly on the increase – more and more cases are being reported to our helpline by children and by extremely worried parents.

Over half of the UK’s 12- to 15-year-olds have faced some form of bullying, including Cyberbullying over the last year. Research by the National Centre for Social Research found that 47% of young people reported being bullied at the age of 14. The same study showed that girls are more likely to be bullied, than boys, in that same age group.

Some examples of cyberbullying can include:

  • Spreading malicious and abusive rumours and gossiping
  • Emailing or texting you with threatening or intimidating remarks
  • Mobbing (a group or gang that target you)
  • Harassing you repeatedly
  • Intimidation and blackmail
  • Stalking you on-line and continually harassing you
  • Posting embarrassing or humiliating images or videos without your consent
  • Posting your private details on-line without consent
  • General Bullying or Stalking
  • Grooming (enticing or goading you on-line to self-harm or commit a crime)
  • Setting up a false profile, Identity fraud or identity theft
  • Using gaming sites to attack or bully you
  • Theft, Fraud or deception over the internet

For more information