Volunteers and supporters from Leeds Samaritans have marked 50 years of listening in the city.
During the past five decades, almost 3,000 volunteers have been trained by Leeds branch, and the current 120 listening volunteers have collectively given more than 150,000 hours of support, by telephone, email, SMS and face to face.
During 2016 Leeds Samaritans aims to raise awareness of its services still further around the city with a series of events.
A Samaritans stand will feature at Leeds museums during the year; starting off at Leeds City Museum in Millennium Square.
Bob Howe, Leeds Samaritans volunteer and regional marketing officer for Yorkshire & Humberside, said: “Fifty years is a big milestone for us, and for Samaritans nationally; the challenge is essentially to heighten the profile of what Samaritans is about, what we do, and also to raise awareness of the fact that we are simply there for everyone. “Every call is important; each one is an individual who is reaching out at a time when they most need to, and our aim is to continue to be there for anyone who feels the need to call us at that point in their life.
“Of course we also face the additional challenge of ensuring that enough trained volunteers are always on hand - if you feel you could be there to support someone in need, visit www.samaritans.org for details on how to find out more about volunteering with us.”
Samaritans relies almost entirely on donations to run its 201 branches and train more than 21,000 volunteers, without whom it could not operate its life-saving services for those who need them most.
To find out more about volunteering visit www.samaritans.org/branches/samaritans-leeds.
To contact Samaritans call 116 123 (free of charge) or 0113 2456789 (local call charges), email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.samaritans.org.