A short history of the branch
Mrs Elsie Smith, the wife of the local vicar came up with the idea of establishing a Branch of the Samaritans in Brierley Hill. She promoted a public meeting in Dudley, which was well attended and from this a Branch Steering Committee was set up.
This Committee was responsible for raising the money needed to design and construct a Branch, the location of which was to be under St. Michael’s Church Hall in Brierley Hill. Construction started in December 1971 and the Branch opened in April 1973.
Brierley Hill was the 137th Branch of Samaritans to be set up and the first call was from Chad Varah, who founded the Samaritan movement and was taken at 7.30am on 22nd April, 1973.
In 1987, the Branch learnt that it was the beneficiary of the will of Beryl Margery Hill, who had been a founder member of the Branch and a volunteer for several years. This enabled the Branch to move to it’s new home in Albion Street, Brierley Hill, in November 1993 and was officially opened on 30th April, 1994.
In 1996, the Branch was twinned with the Samaritans Matale Branch in Sri Lanka and Brierley Hill support their costs whilst keeping in touch with them on a regular basis.
Over the years the concerns of the callers have changed very little but the number of contacts continues to increase proving that there is a real need to maintain the service provided by the committed volunteers at Brierley Hill Samaritans.
Registered Charity Number: 1168020
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