Three UK’s decision to partner with Samaritans in the #BetterPhoneFriend campaign is above and beyond your usual brand tie-up; a phone company supporting a charity that relies on phones to save lives.

Three UK recently announced a three-year charity partnership with Samaritans to connect 1 million people to emotional support. Given the mental health toll on the UK’s population directly related to COVID-19, Three UK will support Samaritans to address these challenges, leveraging its technology, retail stores and expertise to help more people access emotional support, 24/7, 365 days a year.

The pandemic has cut deeper than first thought; Samaritans reports that of the 10,000 calls it receives per day, over a fifth of the calls to its helpline have referenced coronavirus in the past year, and Samaritans volunteers indicate that the pandemic has affected all callers in some form or another.

We all love to call, chat and connect. But do we really know how to listen?

A first step in this campaign is a series of short videos highlighting different communication styles. Whether you’re a worrier, a fixer, filler or an interviewer, the clever videos, featuring balls of energy, open our eyes to the dynamics of conversation and the ever-pressing need to simply listen in a phone-centric and overly distracted world.

Over the next three years, Three UK and Samaritans will expand support services, powered by Three’s network and technology, along with bespoke training, resources and fundraising initiatives to support the wellbeing of the nation. 

Elaine Carey, Chief Commercial Officer at Three UK, said, “For decades, Samaritans has been a lifeline for people across the UK, and never has their support been more important than during the past year. Our work with Samaritans is one way in which we’re investing not only in technology but using the power of human connection to make people’s lives better.”

Find out more about the partnership here.