Charlie Mackesy, Samaritans & Network Rail Urge us to Phone a Friend on ‘Brew Monday’

Beat Blue Monday with a brew, urge the Samaritans

Lead image: Charlie Mackesy’s Brew Monday illustration, courtesy the artist

Charlie Mackesy, author of the much-loved book The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, has teamed up with Samaritans and Network Rail to encourage passengers and staff to reach out to loved ones over a virtual cuppa during the winter months.

Perfectly timed for Blue Monday, Mackesy has created a special illustration of his beloved character the Mole, which will be flashed up on big screens across Network Rail stations like London Waterloo from Monday 18 January 2021.

Samaritans are turning Blue Monday on its head with the ‘Brew Monday’ campaign, supported by Network Rail and the wider rail industry, which is encouraging people up and down the country to pop the kettle on and raise the spirits of their nearest and dearest by harnessing the uplifting power of a good brew and a chat.

The Brew Monday campaign comes as new online research from Samaritans has found that over half of UK adults (58%) felt that speaking regularly to friends and family over the last year, either on the phone, via video calls or in person, had a positive effect on their mental wellbeing.

Uplifting illustrations from Charlie Mackesy’s international bestseller, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, have brought comfort and hope to many this year.

As part of the campaign, the author and illustrator has penned a new message – as Mole asks a slice of cake, the words, ‘can I share you with a friend?’, reminds us of the simple joy of tea and cake with a friend, even if it is conducted virtually.


‘I’m happy to be able to share the Mole with Samaritans for Brew Monday,’ said Mackesy. ‘I hope people will see the drawing and consider sharing their own virtual piece of cake and a nice cup of tea with someone close to them.

‘It has been a hard year for a lot of us and talking and being with loved ones means so much more to us now.’

‘I hope people will see the drawing and consider sharing their own virtual piece of cake and a nice cup of tea with someone close’

‘We’re so grateful to Network Rail and the rail industry for their support of Brew Monday this year,’ said Julie Bentley, Samaritans’ CEO. ‘The challenges that many people face during this season have been felt even more acutely this year with the pandemic restrictions.

‘At Samaritans, we know how powerful talking and listening, even if it is virtually, can be. It doesn’t have to be a Monday or a cup of tea, it’s about taking the time to really listen and supporting one another, which could potentially save a life.’


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Charlie Mackesy (@charliemackesy)

Find out more at or join the conversation on social media using #BrewMonday. Charlie’s illustration is also available to buy as a pin badge from Samaritans’ online shop

Samaritans has worked in partnership with Network Rail to reduce suicides on the railway for over 10 years, having trained over 22,000 rail and BTP staff to look out for passengers and make conversation if they feel someone might be vulnerable.

Anyone can contact Samaritans FREE any time from any phone on 116 123, even a mobile without credit. The number won’t show up on your phone bill. You can also email or visit