Volunteers Week - 1st June 2017

Press Release

 26 May 2017

-For immediate release-


Samaritans marks Volunteers’ Week by highlighting the difference emotional support can make in the face of disadvantage


This volunteers’ week (1-7 June) Samaritans in Scunthorpe are joining volunteer organisations across the UK to show how giving your time makes a huge difference to the lives of others.


Echoing the findings of its Dying from Inequality report released earlier this year, Samaritans is highlighting the particular need for emotional support for those who are disadvantaged, as they are more at risk of suicide.


Samaritans Chair Jenni McCartney, who has been a volunteer for more than thirty years said: “I would say that in many of the calls I take, deprivation is a factor. It could be anything from debt to housing issues, job insecurity to relationship breakdown or bereavement. There is often some level of disadvantage, which can aggravate those challenges and make people more vulnerable to suicidal thoughts.


Jenni is one of more than twenty thousand Samaritans volunteers who offer support to anyone who may be feeling overwhelmed, by phone, email, text, letter or face to face.  


Samaritans volunteers in Scunthorpe can also be found everywhere from schools, workplaces,  prisons, charity shops, train stations and at local events.


Since September 2015, Samaritans has offered calls to its 116 123 number for free, removing any financial barrier to calling, with support from telecoms companies and the Big Lottery Fund. Last year, its volunteers made a difference by responding to more than 5.7 million calls for help, an increase of 300,000 on the previous year.


Volunteer Rachel Johnson who is also Director of Scunthorpe Samaritans and originally joined Samaritans in 1992 said: “Samaritans volunteers can make the difference between someone getting through tough times, or not. But we’re just one part of the equation. Suicide is an inequality issue. For example, if you are male, middle-aged and from the poorest background you are ten more times at risk of suicide than if you’re from the richest. We want to see everyone from politicians and policy makers to employers and educators working together to reduce inequality and ensure that resources are targeted at those who are most at risk.”


Samaritans volunteers in Scunthorpe will be marking the week and would like to thank everyone who gives their time to help achieve its mission, that fewer people die by suicide.


For more information, photos and interviews with Scunthorpe volunteers, please contact Rachel Johnson, mobile 07938 192016, email scunthorpe@samaritans.org


– ENDS –

Notes to editors:


·        Anyone can contact Samaritans. Whatever you’re going through, call us free any time from any phone on 116 123 (this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill), email jo@samaritans.org, or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of your nearest branch.

·        Samaritans responds to more than 5.7 million calls for help a year. It’s the public’s kind donations and more than 20,000 trained volunteers that means Samaritans is always there for anyone struggling to cope.  Find out how you can support us: http://www.samaritans.org/support-us

·        Samaritans’ Dying from Inequality report is available here: http://www.samaritans.org/dying-from-inequality/report

·        Volunteers’ Week is an annual initiative from the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and this year runs from 1-7 June 2017 with the theme, ‘You Make The Difference’.

·        More information on Volunteers’ Week can be found here: http://volunteersweek.org/