Our celebrity supporters celebrate 60 years of Samaritans
David Cameron - Prime Minister and Leader of the Conservative Party
“Samaritans continues to provide an excellent service for those who are especially vulnerable and in difficulty.
"Over the years they have been a vital source of support, advice and comfort for people, and I am a huge admirer of their work.
"I want to congratulate them on their 60th birthday and wish them well for the next 60 years.”
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London
“I have huge admiration for Samaritans and the work they do.
"Their volunteers have supported many Londoners through times of crisis, in fact the first call ever made to Samaritans’ helpline was from a Londoner and there are now 17 branches of the charity in the capital providing vital support every day of the year.
"I hope that the 60th birthday is a fantastic success and would like to extend my warmest wishes to everyone involved.”
Stephen Fry - actor, presenter, author and comedian:
“I can’t emphasise enough the importance of Samaritans, who 60 years on, continue to provide incredibly valuable support to people, at a time when they most need it.
“Knowing they are at the end of the phone throughout the night, when other services are closed, can make life seem a lot less lonely.
“There is nothing that can replace Samaritans, its service is unique, proven, and brilliant. I am confident that over the next 60 years the charity will continue to evolve, reaching out to even more people in need of help.”
Joanna Lumley - comedian and actor:
“It is wonderful and humbling to see that Samaritans are still continuing to provide support to people, sixty years on.
“The charity was founded by Chad Varah, who had a vision that nobody should ever be completely alone - there would always be a voice at the end of the phone. The service is evolving, and Samaritans are working on new ways to reach out to people in their hour of need, something Chad would be very proud of.”
Linda Nolan - pop star:
“Samaritans is a cause very close to my heart, calling them saved my life when I was going through a really tough time.
“It’s amazing that despite the way in which communication has evolved over the last 60 years, the importance of providing one on one human support is valued more than ever.”
Barbara Windsor MBE - soap star:
“I would like to wish everyone at Samaritans a huge congratulations and thanks for the incredible work that has, and still is, being achieved in helping people in their time of need. 60 incredible years. God bless you all.”
Ricky Hatton - British boxing icon:
“I have been through my fair share of troubles, battling problems with alcohol, drugs and depression. There were times when I have considered ending it all.
“I am working through things now, but it is comforting to know that Samaritans is here for people if things get too much.
“The charity has reached an incredible milestone. Over the last 60 years they will have helped countless people going through tough times.
“There will always be a need for Samaritans and I am pretty sure in another 60 years the service will be answering even more calls from people.”
Phil Selway - Radiohead drummer & former volunteer at Oxford Samaritans:
“I started volunteering in 1986 when I was at Liverpool Polytechnic.
“When I finished University, I moved to Oxford branch where I volunteered until 2006.
“You don’t come into the organisation as a ready-made Samaritan, you are always honing your skills and training is a massive part of this.
“When I was touring, there were chunks of time when I couldn’t do any duties. It could be easy to think you are at the centre of the universe in a successful band. It was healthy to come back to Samaritans, to forget about yourself and listen to somebody.
“I see Samaritans as an emotional compass for people. It gives people direction, both people calling the helpline, and the volunteers.
“Samaritans has become ingrained in me as it has been a part of my life for so long.
“60 years on, Samaritans is in a good place. The charity should continue what it is doing, there will always be a need.”
Barry Simmons - quiz show panellist on BBC’s 'Eggheads', and Leeds Samaritans volunteer:
“As I am mostly retired and only film for a few weeks of the year, juggling Samaritans and work isn't really a problem for me.
“I feel that I've been really fortunate in life and volunteering with Samaritans is one of my ways of giving something back. It is by far the most personally fulfilling thing I have ever done and I am really proud to be associated with such a wonderful organisation full of truly dedicated and caring people.
“Sadly there is a lot of pain and suffering in the world and the pressures of a modern life make it even more essential that Samaritans can still provide some balm to a troubled world.
“My birthday greeting to Samaritans is to keep up the good work and be proud of what you have achieved.”
Liam Beckett - football manager and ex-footballer:
“60 years old and yes, Samaritans is still going from strength to strength. What a remarkable achievement, but one of no real surprise to me.
“When anyone needs help or comfort and particularly in confidence, then for me Samaritans can, and do, offer exactly that.
“In my time associated with them, I have really witnessed at first hand the wonderful attentive, caring, understanding and willingness to help anyone 'attitude' of all their volunteers.
“This simple, but vital formula, is without doubt for me the 'key' to the unprecedented success of the organisation for the past 60 years. I am so full of admiration for every single Samaritans volunteer who continue offer round the clock support to all of those who at any given time may feel lonely or vulnerable.
“I am honoured indeed to be an ambassador for such a highly respected and valued organisation and would like to offer my best wishes to the organisation on their 60th birthday."
Tim McGarry - comedian and actor
“I'm a big admirer of Samaritans and the volunteers who freely give up their time to help others.
"I know the huge impact they can make on people's lives. Hearing a friendly local voice at the end of a phone at a time of crisis or difficulty is extremely important.
"Congratulations on your 60th birthday."
Geoffrey Munn - 'Antiques Roadshow' contributor
To mark Samaritans’ 60th birthday, we are asking people to help us be there for the next 60 years. Please text ‘SUPPORT’ to 70123 to make a £3 donation. (Terms)