Our local branch of Samaritans covering the Yeovil and Sherborne district has been running for over 40 years and is thriving, with currently 115 volunteers from all walks of life, both men and women, and aged from early twenties to ninety-one! The branch is totally run by volunteers, including all the management team. Some of our volunteers have actually been with us since the very first shift and on September 19th a branch meeting was held during which 12 long-serving volunteers who have been Samaritans for 20 plus years were presented with Long Service Certificates by our new Regional Director. In total these volunteers have been Samaritans for 333 years!
In addition special awards have been given out this year to all volunteers who have 24 or more years of service – these are the Claire Squires awards, in memory of the daughter of a Samaritan in Bicester who died suddenly after raising a lot of money for Samaritans. Claire’s mother had been a Samaritan for 24 years and wanted some of the money Claire raised to acknowledge her fellow volunteers. One of the Yeovil Sherborne & District volunteers was presented with this award after maintaining his volunteering over 30 years although he moved house and Samaritan branches several times during that period (see picture)
Our new walking group went so well earlier this month that we are already looking forward to second outing on November 4th, this time in Sturminster Newton with lunch to follow at a local pub. We have also had a great time, along with members of the public, at a community singing open afternoon in Sherborne led by Lesley Whatley, who runs the Local Vocals choirs throughout Dorset.