It's Volunteers' Week and, as usual, we want to thank all our volunteers for their dedicated service over the last year
Our services have been in constant demand since we first opened in 1964. We are proud of the help we have given to so many people over the years and were delighted when we received the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service in 2015. But in the current situation we are so glad that we have able to maintain our round the clock telephone and email service despite the Coronavirus outbreak.
The government was quick to recognise the critical nature of what we do and we have closely followed all official advice and regulations to keep our volunteers safe. Of course some of our volunteers have needed to stay at home for their own or others' safety, but many of those who are still able to come into our branch have been working extra shifts to ensure that we can answer our callers as quickly as possible. And we could not have done this without the support and encouragement and understanding of our volunteers' friends and families.
To be honest, living with a Samaritans volunteer is not always easy! They come and go at all times of the day and night. They might wake partners and parents and housemates when they set off for our branch office and get back from it. If they are on duty late into the evening it’s natural to worry about them until they are safely back home. But in the current situation, where many families are concerned about work and finances, keeping children occupied, supporting vulnerable relatives and neighbours, we know that it may be an extra pressure or worry when one of your loved ones is leaving the house to spend time volunteering with us.
So in Volunteers Week 2020 we want to say an especially big thank you to all our volunteers and to everyone who is supporting and encouraging them to keep our phone lines open. We know you do it because you are proud of what we do.