Ealing Central and Acton MP Rupa Huq recently visited our South Ealing headquarters to find out more about what we do.
The Ealing, Hammersmith and Hounslow branch of Samaritans has been a fundamental part of the west London community since 21 January 1972 when we started our work with a handful of volunteers in the basement of a condemned church hall.
Since then, 2,242 volunteers have passed through our ranks and we’ve handled an estimated one million calls. Today there are 150 volunteers at the branch which since 1984 has been based at 26 Junction Road, South Ealing. From there we provide a 24/7, 365-day ‘listening ear’ to those who use Samaritans nation free-to-call number 116123.
The Ealing Central and Acton MP visited Junction Road to meet local volunteers, including branch director, Heena Johnson, to pay tribute to their work during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Rupa said: “I was shown around the Ealing, Hammersmith, and Hounslow Samaritans branch in South Ealing and it is amazing to see how dedicated the team are in providing support to those who need it. They are fundamental to the wellbeing of the community in Ealing Central and Acton, as well as further afield.
“The pandemic has shown that pressures on mental health services are building. There must be a greater emphasis from the Government on care in the community and an assurance that mental health services will be backed with the funding and resources needed to meet demand, alongside adequate investment in the mental health workforce.”
Heena “I was delighted to welcome Rupa to hear about our branch, which is one of the busiest in London.
“I was able to talk about our work, which is the collective effort of some 150 people — unpaid volunteers from all walks of life who, 365 days of the year, provide confidential emotional support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which may lead to suicide.
“From a small start nearly 50 years ago we now handle over 20,000 phone calls a year and we're looking forward to celebrating this year.”
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.