Samaritans at 60
We're enormously proud to be celebrating our 60th birthday in November.
Since 1953, we've been helping anyone with nowhere else to turn.
Our founder Chad Varah, pictured right, vowed to stop the isolation and ignorance that would lead people to suicide.
"I want to congratulate them on their 60th birthday and wish them well for the next 60 years."
Prince Charles kicks off our celebrations at a Clarence House event.
"When I had no-one to turn to, Samaritans answered my call for help."
Chad Varah took the first call to Samaritans on 2 November 1953.
We were the first 24-hour helpline in the world.
Today, 20,665 volunteers answer a call, email or text every six seconds.
"I must say I'm deeply appreciative and full of admiration for everything, all these remarkable volunteers do.
The fact that you give up so much of your time, and provide your love and compassion for other people in this way; it is a wonderful thing that you're doing and the fact that there are still so many people wanting to volunteer for this, is a great sign.
I'm sure you'll go on to grow in strength and effectiveness."
His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, Patron of Samaritans, speaking at Central London Samaritans where he met volunteers on 2 May 2013. This was to help launch our celebrations for our 60 years of listening.
We also go out into local communities, workplaces, hospitals, schools and prisons to support people.
We've also established ground-breaking partnerships with industry, such as Facebook, Google and Network Rail.
Now, we need to invest in new technology. We need to provide new services in the online environment, making it as safe as possible to support vulnerable people.
"The challenge now is to look to the future. As the way people choose to communicate changes over time, we need to continue to evolve, combining technology with compassion, to reach people who still so desperately need our help."
Felicity Varah, daughter of our founder