THREE teenagers have been praised by the Samaritans for their quick thinking when they saw a man they thought might be about to jump off a building.

Aaron Knight, from Wanborough, was in the town centre with his friends Flynn Lavender and Tom Perrotin when he saw the man on top of the Whalebridge car park.

The quick-thinking trio ran up to the man and managed to coax him away from the edge.

Aaron said: “We had gone into the town centre just to shop and chill and we were heading to the bus stop when we saw him.

“He was sitting on top of this railing and leaning forward and he looked like he was going to jump.

“We sprinted up the stairs hoping we would be able to stop him doing anything silly.”

The friends feared the worst but they managed to talk calmly to the man who eventually went with them to a lower level.

“I didn’t think he was going to listen to us, we were a bit scared but we had to do it,” said Aaron

“He was saying stuff like ‘life’s dark at the moment’ and ‘it’s not worth living’, we spoke to him, gave him some water and helped him downstairs then sat him down to check if he was OK.

“I felt so bad for him, he was shivering and in such a bad place, he could hardly speak but he thanked us.”

A passer by who saw the incident told the lads he would call the police. The three friends left the man in his care and went home.

Aaron said: “I called the police later to see if he was OK and they said he was .

“I’m quite proud of what we did, I possibly saved someone’s life and we were very happy that we got him down quickly. It was a big relief.”

The 16-year-olds are currently studying for their GCSEs at Ridgeway School.

Aaron’s mum Nicola praised their heroic actions.

She said: “It’s quite remarkable. Aaron IS an amazing young man, he’s very caring.

“He talked about how sad it all was afterwards. He rang the police to see how the man was and was on the phone to them for about half an hour. They said they had given him a hot drink and sent him on his way. I am very proud of Aaron.”

Paul Bentley, interim director of Swindon & District Samaritans, said: “It seems like these teenagers handled a difficult situation really well as it can be daunting to approach someone who is struggling to cope and know what to say or worry about making things worse.

"However, it sounds like they did absolutely the right thing - often just by asking if someone’s OK and letting them know you’re listening can give people the confidence to open up about how they’re feeling.

“When a person reaches a point where they are focused on taking their life, they’ve often lost sight of trying to find a way through their problems. This period usually only lasts a short while and often it doesn’t take a huge amount to bring someone back from that decision – something as simple as saying, ‘it’s ok to talk’ can be enough to move someone out of suicidal crisis.

"Samaritans are here around the clock every single day of the year for anyone struggling to cope.

“Anyone can contact Samaritans and can call for free any time from any phone on 116 123 (this number is free to call and will not appear on the phone bill), email, or visit Swindon & District Samaritans at 6 Curtis Street, Swindon.”