Miss Leeds contestant Hazel set for Samaritans skydive

Fundraiser and Miss Leeds contestant Hazel Latner outside the Samaritans of Leeds building, in Clarendon Road, Leeds. Picture by Scott Merrylees.
Fundraiser and Miss Leeds contestant Hazel Latner outside the Samaritans of Leeds building, in Clarendon Road, Leeds. Picture by Scott Merrylees.
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A Leeds beauty queen who spent years helping people in crisis has pledged to jump out of a plane for the charity she once volunteered for.

Miss Leeds contestant Hazel Latner, who lives in Leeds city centre, spent two and a half years with the Samaritans charity as a volunteer listener where she was trained to speak to people in need of support.

The 24-year-old is aiming to raise £500 for the charity in a skydive in Brigg on Saturday – the day before she competes in the final of Miss Leeds at the Met Hotel.

Hazel, who works for an estate agent, was a psychology student at Leeds Beckett University during her time volunteering with the Samaritans.

The charity put her through six weeks of training before she started taking calls.

“Sometimes people just want someone at the other end of the phone to listen to them and give them the time of day, sometimes in our busy lives we forget how much some people suffer,” she said. “I just think it’s a really valuable cause. The branch in Leeds is open 24hours a day and they have got to be really dedicated, so I wanted to give something back.”

The Samaritans has been giving emotional support to people in Leeds for nearly 50 years.

A spokesman for the Samaritans of Leeds said: “Everyone has moments in their life when they struggle to cope and for some this can lead to feeling hopeless and unable to work through their problems.

“Talking can really help people to see a way through and Samaritans is available for them, round the clock, every single day of the year.”

To donate visit www.doitforcharity.com/hlatner.

CHARITY NEEDS YOUR DONATIONS

The Samaritans charity relies almost entirely on public donations and volunteers to offer its service to callers.

The organisation has 201 branches across the UK and the Republic of Ireland and has received more than 68million contacts from people in distress that felt in need of someone to speak, type or write to since 1984.

Samaritans is there every single day of the year to listen and offer confidential support when things are getting to you.

To contact the charity’s phoneline call 08457 909090, email jo@samaritans.org or find the details for your local branch at www.samaritans.org.

Cori Braham.

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