Reaching Out to the Community..........
We are constantly seeking ways to engage with and support those at risk of ending their lives or those affected by it. One of the ways that we do this is through the Outreach Team.
As we have only a finite number of volunteers, we try to focus on working closer with specific higher risk groups, for example, men in mid-life, from disadvantaged backgrounds. The aim being to try and make them aware of the Samaritans service and how to access the emotional support that we offer in the hope that it might make a difference if they are unfortunate enough to need it one day.
This year the Outreach team have worked with British Rail on an awareness programme for staff and the public. Locally at Winchester Railway Station we have put up posters, directions to the branch and on occasions we have had a physical presence.
Another way in which we reach out is through partnerships with other charities and agencies. One example of this is the missing person’s pilot currently being run in conjunction with the missing person’s charity and a number of police forces. The plan is to offer support to people who have gone missing and whose relatives or friends have reason to think that they may be at risk of harming themselves. We take referrals one week in six, aiming to contact the missing person as soon as we can and offer them an opportunity to talk about their concerns in confidence. (http://www.missingpeople.org.uk/)
Finally, we conduct reaching out activities in the local community to raise awareness particularly amongst schools and colleges through talks and presentations about Samaritans. We also regularly present to the trainee police controllers at Netley.
If you are part of a group or know a group that would be interested in hearing a talk about Samaritans, who we are, and what we offer, please email the outreach team on firstname.lastname@example.org.