Impact Report 2022-2023

Tuesday 31 October 2023

35 min read


Chapter 1: Welcome from the Chair and Chief Executive

Times are tough, but Samaritans are always here to listen.

Last year, there wasn’t a single second when our volunteers weren’t on the phone to someone. Day and night, Samaritans were there for people when they needed us most, no matter what they were going through.

We’re proud to say that we’ve been on hand to listen 24/7 but regrettably, there are no signs that the vital services Samaritans provide are any less needed, so we must ensure that we continue to be here for as long as people need us.

People have and always will be at the very heart of everything we do here at Samaritans. We’ve worked hard to listen and create more opportunities for people with personal experience to share their views with us. This includes people who have used our services, who have experienced suicidal thoughts and self-harm, and those bereaved by suicide. Their voices have helped to shape our new strategy, which launched last year, and they will continue to help shape our future direction.

Samaritans wouldn’t be here without our supporters. This year, you’ve helped us show decision-makers that Saving Lives Can’t Wait – influencing suicide prevention policy across England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland and Northern Ireland. You helped us connect over a cuppa on Brew Monday, raise awareness that Small Talk Saves Lives, and encouraged more people to Talk to Us. And of course, crucially you helped us raise the money we needed to keep our helpline open 365 days a year and continue working towards our vision that fewer people die by suicide.

Thank you to everyone who has supported Samaritans over the last year. Since answering our first call in 1953, Samaritans has been there for people during their most difficult times and we are needed as much now as ever before. The cost of living crisis means many people are finding it much harder to make ends meet. We’ve seen an increase in first-time calls for help from people opening up about their financial worries, and we’ve called for governments across the UK and Ireland to take action and make sure they are supporting people’s wellbeing.

Samaritans has also felt the effects of the financial crisis. In a challenging economic environment that has seen our income decrease and our costs rise, we have had to make some difficult decisions about what we could deliver in the year. Your support has never been more important.

We’re especially grateful to the incredible people who volunteered their time for Samaritans, and our dedicated partners and supporters who have been there for us, so we can be there for others. It’s thanks to you that we’ve remained a constant source of support to people during this very challenging time.

With your help, we can continue to be there for those who need us most, reach out to even more people, and raise our voice to make suicide prevention a priority.

Julie Bentley

Chief Executive

Keith Leslie

Chair of Trustees

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Samaritans volunteers, Bristol

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