Samaritans’ dedicated volunteers will continue to support anyone in crisis from branches, wherever possible during this challenging time.
Following recent government measures relating to coronavirus, the UK Secretary of State for Health, Matt Hancock has confirmed that Samaritans’ volunteers can continue carrying out shifts at branches to support those in need. Matt Hancock agreed that volunteers are critical to supporting vulnerable people, in response to a question asked by MP and Samaritans volunteer, Liz Twist in Parliament on Tuesday 25th March 2020.
Samaritans CEO Ruth Sutherland said: “We understand that this is an incredibly challenging time for volunteers, and we are doing everything we can to ensure they are safe. We do not expect any volunteer to continue working a shift unless they feel comfortable doing so, considering their own personal and local situation.
“Volunteer safety remains of the upmost importance, so the situation is continually being monitored and all branches are applying strict guidelines with regard to hygiene standards and social distancing.
“We’re working really hard to minimise disruption to our helpline and while it might take us longer to answer the phone and emails, we would like to reassure the public that we are still here for those who need us most.
“In this challenging time, much of what is happening daily is unprecedented, so it is more important than ever that we keep in touch with the people we care about and reach out to those who many need extra support.
“Samaritans is monitoring events closely in relation to coronavirus and following the guidance of relevant authorities, and we’re continually reviewing the situation carefully to make sure we keep everyone safe.”
Anyone worried about coronavirus can find some useful online resources and advice here.