A commemorative bench was today formally dedicated in Ealing’s Lammas Park to celebrate half a century of work by volunteers at the Ealing, Hammersmith & Hounslow branch of Samaritans.
Since 21 January 1972, more than 2,000 volunteers have answered the phones to provide a confidential service for people seeking emotional support.
Heena Johnson, the 17th director of the Samaritans branch said: “The dedication of this bench brings to an end the celebration of our first 50 years. With its wonderful view of the park, we hope it will provide a quiet place for people to take the time to talk, and to listen.”
Before cutting the ribbon to formally open the bench, Julie Bentley, chief executive of Samaritans UK and Ireland said: “This is to remember the 50 years of dedicated by wonderful volunteers, those who came before us and those that will follow us.”
The commemorative plaque on the bench reads: “When you need to talk we will be there to listen. We have been doing it for 50 years. Ealing, Hammersmith & Hounslow Samaritans.”
The bench can be found near the Elers Road entrance to Lammas Park at latitude 51°30'14.43" N 0°18'44.33" W; /// stamp.mixer.toys
In addition to manning the phones and running an email support service, the South Ealing based Samaritans Branch participates in the Rail Industry Suicide prevention programme which aims to reduce suicide on the railways and to support everyone affected by them.
It also runs the Listener Scheme at Wormwood Scrubs prison where a group of prisoners is selected and trained to offer emotional support to other prisoners who are experiencing feelings of distress.
All Samaritans branches are individual charities run entirely by volunteers and Ealing, Hammersmith & Hounslow Samaritans (registered charity number 1173588) is only able to continue to support those in despair and distress thanks to donations, legacies and fundraising by the Branch.
Here's how to make a donation.