Boris backs Samaritans to support Londoners for the next 60 years

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has congratulated Samaritans on 60 years of helping people struggling to cope, and expressed support for the effort the charity is making to reach out to Londoners who are most vulnerable, over the next 60 years.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said:

“I have huge admiration for Samaritans and the work they do. Their volunteers have supported many Londoners through times of crisis, in fact the first call ever made to Samaritans’ helpline was from a Londoner and there are now 17 branches of the charity in the capital providing vital support every day of the year.

"I hope that the 60th birthday is a fantastic success and would like to extend my warmest wishes to everyone involved.”

Samaritans has been there for people with nowhere else to turn. The first call to Samaritans was made on 2nd November 1953, and has since expanded from “one man and one telephone” to 201 branches with 20,980 volunteers across the UK and ROI.

The challenge now is to look to the future. Over 5 million people contacted Samaritans in 2012. But the way people choose to communicate changes over time, and with increasing rates of distress, the Charity needs to continue evolving, combining technology with compassion, and reaching out to people who need their support.

Stephen Hoddell, Chair of Samaritans said:

“Meeting the future challenge of the next 60 years is very important to us. Communication using digital technology is becoming more common. Our ambitions are to continue invest in new technologies so we can provide services in the online environment, making it as safe as possible to support vulnerable people. This will enable us to reach out to even more Londoners  who need someone to listen when there is no one else. We’re very grateful for the Mayor of London’s support as we plan for the next 60 years”

To mark Samaritans’ diamond year, the charity is asking people to help them be there for the next 60 years. Please text ‘SUPPORT’ to 70123* to make a £3 donation.
For more information about the work of Samaritans, please contact Samaritans’ press office on: 020 8394 8300 or email press@samaritans.org.

– ENDS –

Notes to editors:

Samaritans is available round the clock, every single day of the year. We provide a safe place for anyone struggling to cope, whoever they are, however they feel, whatever life has done to them. Please call 08457 90 90 90 (UK) 1850 60 90 90 (ROI), email jo@samaritans.org, or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of the nearest branch.

*Terms and conditions of making a donation to 70123

Texts cost £3, plus one message at your standard network rate. Samaritans will receive a minimum of 99% of your donation. We may contact you in the future. If you’d prefer not to hear from us, text NOCALL SAM to 70060. If you wish to discuss this mobile payment, call 0844 241 2263. UK registered charity number 219432.