Leeds branch of Samaritans celebrates 50 years of volunteering

Samaritans' Leeds branch has been running for 50 years.
Samaritans' Leeds branch has been running for 50 years.
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The Leeds branch of Samaritans is celebrating half a century of volunteering.

Since opening in November 1966, almost 3,000 unpaid volunteers have been trained at the Leeds Branch in the skills of listening and being on hand 24 hours a day to support those who need to talk to someone at a time when their life is maybe at a low ebb.

With an average of around 120 volunteers at any time, the Leeds branch takes in excess of 50,000 calls every year and since 1966, over 1.4m contacts have been made with the branch which is situated on Clarendon Road.

Nationally, Samaritans has over 20,000 unpaid volunteers receiving over 5.3 million calls every year.

Tracey Whitehead, publicity officer at the branch, says the branch is always on the lookout for new volunteers.

And that is especially relevant with Volunteers Week running nationally and starting on Wednesday, June 1.

She said: “With an ever-increasing number of people calling us, we constantly need to train new volunteers.

“Most people have what it takes to be a listening volunteer, but it does take commitment, a willingness to give time to someone in need, and a very non-judgemental approach to those who call us.

“Our information evenings explain exactly what it takes to be a volunteer and alternative ways to help if listening is not for you.”

If you are interested in learning more about volunteering for Samaritans you can visit bit.ly/samsleedsinfo.

Alternatively call the volunteer line on 0113 244 5370.

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