Samaritans’ 50 years in Leeds

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The Samaritans of Leeds will be marking 50 years of listening this year.

Since November 7, 1966, the Leeds branch of the charity has offered round the clock confidential support to people in emotional distress and struggling to cope.

The branch has trained almost 3,000 volunteers who have dedicated themselves to a 24 hour/365 days a year service. And since records began, more than 1.4m contacts have been made with the branch, by telephone, email, SMS and face-to -face.

Leeds Samaritans volunteer, and regional marketing officer for Yorkshire & Humberside, Bob Howe said: “Fifty years is a big milestone for us; but the challenge is essentially to heighten the profile of what Samaritans is about, what we do, and to raise awareness of the fact that we are simply there for everyone.

“In the context of Samaritans as a whole, the number of calls we receive in Leeds may be small compared to the 5.3 million calls taken every year nationally by our organisation, but 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.”

Nationwide, Samaritans relies almost entirely on donations to run its 201 branches and train more than 21,000 dedicated volunteers.

From May 2016 -May 2017 Leeds Samaritans aims to raise awareness of its services around the Leeds with a series of events. To find out more about Samaritans in Leeds contact Bob Howe on 07715 161271.

Saphieh Ashtiany, the equality and employment lawyer

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