Community Column: Samaritans Say Thank You to Priceless Volunteers

Published June 1, 2016 at 15:02

Samaritans in Pendle, Burnley, Craven & Rossendale are celebrating Volunteers’ Week (1-12 June 2016) by saying a great big thank you to their team of life-saving volunteers.

Every 6 seconds someone contacts Samaritans. Across the UK and Republic of Ireland, more than 20,000 volunteers give well over 5 million hours of their time a year – responding to calls, fundraising, supporting people in prisons, workplaces and schools, and running its 201 branches. The charity estimates that paid employees would be earning the equivalent of £72m a year.

In the local branch – the Samaritans of Pendle, Burnley, Craven and Rossendale – its 89 volunteers handled almost 32,000 pleas for help last year.

Pauline volunteers at her local Samaritans branch:

“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 in their lives 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 in their life and support them to get through.”

Ian Hartley, Director of the Samaritans’ locally, said:

“Life can be tough for anyone, and everyone deals with challenges in different ways. As Samaritans volunteers, we don’t judge, we’re here for absolutely anyone, and we 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 that the moment is right in your life to give some time to others, why not think about volunteering with us?”

Samaritans volunteers are based in our 201 branches across the UK and Ireland, and they work in a variety of roles. Listening volunteers respond to calls, emails, letters and texts, as well as talking to people who call into the branch for support. Many others help with awareness raising and events. Training and support is really comprehensive and you’re always working in a team.

Catherine Scott, Chairman of the Samaritans locally, said:

“We’re keen to hear from people who want to be listeners and also from those happy to help with fundraising, marketing and outreach work, 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 us free any time from any phone on 116 123 (this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill), email, or visit to find details of your nearest branch and to volunteer.

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