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Exeter Samaritans - who we are
Exeter Samaritans held its first meeting to recruit volunteer listeners in November 1963 - one of the first out-of-London branches, set up some 10 years after the national organisation was founded by the Reverend Chad Varah.
Exeter Samaritans’ telephone number ‘went live’ in 1964 and by 1970 there were 1,800 annual ‘contacts’ from people by telephone or face-to-face.
By 1975 contacts had increased to 6,865. The local branch increased in geographical size to cover parts of Devon as well as Exeter, larger premises were used and at different times the local branch had a city centre charity shop and its own caravan.
In 1992 a Listeners team was created in Exeter Prison where prisoners are trained by Samaritans to support their peers - a vital part of our activities that still thrives today.
In 1999 we moved to our current Richmond Road premises, as the charity began to respond to callers by email and more recently SMS text messages as well as the original telephone and face-to-face..
In 2014 the branch took 23,411 telephone calls from the public, up from 19,087 in 2013. There were 2,394 emails sent plus 3,648 SMS texts, and 165 face-to-face contacts.
Samaritans Of Exeter Mid And East Devon, a charity registered in England & Wales (1165042).
Samaritans Of Exeter Mid And East Devon is a recognised branch of Samaritans.