Press release: Belfast Samaritan awarded MBE

Devoted Samaritans volunteer Elizabeth Pearce from Belfast has been made an MBE in the Queen’s New Years Honours list 2013.   

Elizabeth was recognised for her voluntary service to Samaritans and to Cruse Bereavement Care in Northern Ireland. She was nominated by fellow volunteers at both charities.

Elizabeth has been volunteering at the charity’s Belfast branch from the very first day it opened, over 50 years ago. Since then she has been involved in establishing a number of other Samaritans branches across Ireland.

As well as supporting people struggling to cope by volunteering as a Samaritans listener, Elizabeth was the very first secretary at the branch, spent three years as Director of the Belfast branch and has held regional responsibilities. In addition she has organised a number of successful events which have raised vital funds for the charity.
Elizabeth has also worked with Cruse Bereavement Care for many years, providing support to bereaved people across the province.

Elizabeth Pearce said: “It is a real honour to have been awarded an MBE, I don’t think it has sunk in yet! Volunteering with both Samaritans and Cruse is a big part of my life, and being able to support people who might not have anywhere else to turn is very important to me.  I wouldn’t be in this position if it wasn’t for the support of my fellow volunteers, so I would like to take this opportunity to thank them.”

Stephen Hoddell, Samaritans’ Chair said:  “I’d like to offer heartfelt congratulations to Elizabeth on her MBE.  Over the years Elizabeth has given countless hours to the charity, supporting people using our helpline service, as well as taking on fundraising and management responsibilities. On behalf of the whole charity I’d like to congratulate Elizabeth on her achievements, and thank her for her dedication.”

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For more information about the work of Samaritans please contact Samaritans’ press office: Claire Duncan on 020 8394 8345 or email  

Notes to editors:

  • Samaritans’ vision is that fewer people die by suicide. People contact Samaritans when they are struggling to cope and need someone to talk to. More than 20,000 Samaritans’ volunteers are available round the clock, every day of the year. The helpline provides a safe place to talk and all conversations are private.
  • To contact Samaritans call 116 123, email, or visit to find your nearest branch.