Network Rail's East Coast route is supporting a Samaritan's campaign emphasising the importance of small talk at Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield stations.

The Small Talk Saves Lives campaign, partnered with Samaritans, British Transport Police and the wider rail industry, serves as a reminder to the public that a simple conversation can be lifesaving.

Helen Cavanagh, head of passenger experience for Network Rail’s East Coast route, said: "The Small Talk Saves Lives campaign has shown us how we each have the skills to genuinely help someone in distress.

"I am ever so proud of our relationship with Samaritans and British Transport Police and hope this next stage of the campaign continues to help educate and inform people that small talk can be lifesaving."

Samaritans' recent findings show that 43 per cent of people living near the East Coast Main Line engage in small talk during haircuts.

By inviting hairdressers, barbers, and nail technicians to the station, the charity offers passengers an opportunity to refine their small talk skills.

By being a part of these interactions, the aim is that people will leave feeling better and more confident in initiating conversations.

Samaritans volunteers will also conduct engagement events at stations on the route, including Welwyn North station from 11am to 1pm on February 24, Hatfield station from 7am to 9pm on March 6 and Welwyn Garden City station from 7am to 9pm on March 13.

Samaritans' recent findings revealed nearly half of British adults living near the East Coast Main Line avoid interactions with strangers to escape small talk.

However, the campaign demonstrates that small talk plays a significant role and we are more proficient at it than we believe.

Small Talk Saves Lives urges the public to trust their instincts and start a conversation if they suspect someone is in trouble, at railway stations or other public places.

Despite 33 per cent of people confessing uncertainty about initiating a conversation, Samaritans is urging people across the UK to try - as a simple remark about the weather could be enough to save a life.

For more information and tips, visit or join the conversation on social media using #SmallTalkSavesLives.