Samaritans had 26,000 calls

It’s been revealed that last year, Samaritans’ volunteers from the charity’s Derry branch answered a staggering 26,236 calls for help, according to the latest figures released by the national suicide prevention charity.

The figures were released to coincide with Volunteers’ Week, a national initiative which has been running throughout this week .

Lindsay Johnston, Director at Derry Samaritans, said she welcomed the opportunity to celebrate the difference their volunteers make in their local community and to encourage those who are interested in helping to contact the local branch of Samaritans.

“I’m so grateful to all of our volunteers at the branch,” said Ms. Johnston.

“I want to thank them all for their commitment and hard work. It’s great to see how they support people in ways that work well for our callers, on the phone, via email, text or visiting us in branch.

“We know that people who are struggling benefit from having a real person to connect with, someone who is trained to listen to them. Samaritans wouldn’t exist without the dedication of our volunteers. As well as listening on the helpline, there are lots of ways people can get involved with Samaritans, whether it’s fundraising, marketing, helping with admin or IT, or offering other valuable skills.”

Scott who has been a Samaritans volunteer for over 14 years encouraged people to become volunteers locally. He said: “Anyone has the ability to become a Samaritan, all you need is to be a good listener and have the time and commitment to spare. We are all ordinary people from all walks of life with the one goal of helping people struggling to cope. We are always looking for new volunteers, so please get in touch.

“Samaritans is available round the clock, every single day of the year. We provide a safe place for anyone struggling to cope, whoever they are, however they feel, whatever life has done to them.”

For more information you can contact your local Derry branch at 16 Clarendon St. Derry, BT48 7ET, by phone on 028 71265511 or visit between 10am-10pm.