Our organisation

Our organisation

We support anyone in distress, around the clock, through 201 branches across the UK and Republic of Ireland.

We know our service can help people before it's too late.

But we’re a charity, and it’s your kind donations that keep our helpline open.

Hear from our staff

Samaritans is a fulfilling and rewarding place to work. Find out what it's like to work for Samaritans.

The history of Samaritans

Samaritans began in 1953 in London, founded by a vicar called Chad Varah. He wanted to do something specific to help people in distress who had no one to turn to.

Samaritans at 60

More than 60 years' ago we became the world's first telephone support service

Our organisation

  • We have 201 branches across the UK and Republic of Ireland.
  • Since 1984 Samaritans has received over 68 million contacts in which people felt able to speak, type or write.

Our volunteers

  • In 2011 we had 20,665 volunteers.
  • In 2012 we had more than 25,000 enquiries from volunteers. That’s 16% higher than our previous record.
  • 20,060 volunteers were involved in outreach and public awareness work, including 648 branch volunteers supporting the Listener scheme in prisons.