60 years ago, we became the first 24-hour helpline in the world
How Samaritans manage over 20,000 volunteers across 201 branches to deliver our service.
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.
- 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.
- 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.