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Lancaster & District Samaritans still available over Christmas

Volunteers in Lancaster will be among around 1,500 volunteers expected to answer calls for help on Christmas Day.

Christmas will be a tough time for some even without a global pandemic to deal with, say Samaritans, as the charity’s latest research reveals that being separated from family and loved ones over the Christmas period is one of the biggest concerns facing callers.

New research with over 1,400 of the charity’s volunteers found around a quarter who took part in the survey (27%), have spoken to people who were feeling concerned about their wellbeing over Christmas and the winter period, over the past three months.

But volunteers at Lancaster will be there round-the-clock throughout December to make sure there’s someone there to listen to anyone who is feeling alone or struggling this festive season.

Tracey Duffy, Director at the Lancaster Branch shared why it’s so important to make sure there’s someone there to listen throughout the festive season. She said: “We know that Christmas can be difficult for many people, as it’s a time when loneliness can really hit home and that this might be heightened this year. Regardless of what happens with Covid restrictions, we want people to know that confidential support is available 24/7, and that we are there for everyone this Christmas.

Photo: Tracey Duffy from the Samaritans tells us about their important work over Christmas.

“Every call for help is answered by a trained volunteer and talking to us is free and confidential. Samaritans have never been a more vital lifeline. If you are looking to help out in the New Year, we need people to volunteer in our shop on Damside Street in Lancaster, to raise vital funds to ensure that we can be there to listen not just at Christmas but throughout the year.

“And if you find yourself struggling this Christmas, please remember you don’t have to face things alone. You can talk to us, day or night, free on 116 123 or by emailing jo@samaritans.org.”

Volunteers at Lancaster & District Samaritans have been working tirelessly throughout the pandemic to ensure their vital service is available around the clock for anyone who needs help. Since lockdown in March, Samaritans volunteers across the UK and Ireland have provided emotional support over a million times via phone, email and letters.

Jason, 50, felt his whole world had fallen apart one Christmas. After struggling with his mum’s death, breaking up with the mother of his son and the loss of his job, it all became too much.

Jason said: “The hardship faced by people trying to cope with the pandemic reminds me how overwhelming everything became for me at Christmas. Thankfully, my ex-wife noticed my struggles and convinced me to pick up the phone to Samaritans. Although it was one of the hardest things I have done – that phone call changed my life and put me on a new path. Samaritans gave me hope and helped me to find my purpose again.”

Last Christmas period, Samaritans, the only charity there for anyone struggling to cope 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, responded to over a quarter of a million calls for help, and over 10,000 calls for help came on Christmas Day alone.

'Going Green' for Samaritans.

The Ashton memorial will be one of a few places which will 'go green' to show their support of Samaritans along with some other notable buildings and businesses. Lancaster based local community radio station will rebrand for three weeks which will see the stations logo and colour scheme move away from purple to the Samaritans green colours as well as feature some special programming and promotion on air.

ABOVE: Beyond Radio rebrands to show support of the Samaritans this Christmas.


ABOVE: Ashton memorial is one of the notable local buildings which will be lit green in support of Samaritans.

Businesses and members of the public are able to show their support, if they wish, they can donate £4 to a special text number. By texting the word 'four' to 70450, you will donate to the Samaritans charity which will help them continue to hear and support local people.

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