Local Samaritans answer 32,000 cries for help

Ian Hartley, director of the local Samaritans

Ian Hartley, director of the local Samaritans

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Samaritans inPendle are celebrating Volunteers’ Week by saying thank you to their team of life-saving volunteers.

Every six seconds someone contacts Samaritans. Across the UK and Republic of Ireland, more than 20,000 volunteers give over five million hours of their time a year – responding to calls, fund-raising, supporting people in prisons, workplaces and schools, and running its 201 branches.

Across Pendle, Burnley, Craven and Rossendale last year, 89 volunteers dealt with almost 32,000 pleas for help.

Pauline Hirons volunteers at the Samaritans branch in Market Square, Nelson: “Knowing you’ve made a difference to someone’s life is all the reward any of us needs. Just being there to listen, in confidence, to someone going through a tough time can be really helpful to that person. It could be family, work, money or relationship issues, or perhaps they’ve lost a loved one. Whatever they are dealing with, we listen and give people the courage to open up about what’s happening and support them to get through.”

Ian Hartley (pictured above), director of the local Samaritans, said: “As Samaritans volunteers, we don’t judge, we’re here for absolutely anyone, and want people to talk to us before they feel overwhelmed.

“I’d like to thank each and every one of our dedicated volunteers – the work they do is priceless. If you’re open-minded and feel the moment is right in your life to give some time to others, why not think about volunteering with us?”

Samaritans volunteers work in a variety of roles. Listening volunteers respond to calls, emails, letters and texts, as well as talking to people who call in for support. Others help with awareness raising and events. Training and support is comprehensive and you’re always working in a team.

Samaritans’ chairman Catherine Scott said: “We’re keen to hear from people who want to be listeners and from those happy to help with fund-raising, marketing and outreach, and the day-to-day running of our branches. Volunteering with Samaritans is a win-win. You can offer your experience and knowledge and in return develop a whole new set of skills.”

Anyone can contact Samaritans, you don’t have to be suicidal. Whatever you’re going through, call free any time on 116 123 (this number will not appear on your phone bill), email jo@samaritans.org or visit www.samaritans.org.