This weekend, Samaritans Festival Branch will be unveiling a special Listening Garden at Latitude to help celebrate its 50th year.
Samaritans Festival Branch was recently trending after its outreach at Glastonbury and now hopes to hit the headlines at Latitude with a message of hope and acceptance for those struggling to cope.
The charity answers a call for help every 10 seconds. While many think volunteers can only be found at the end of a telephone, Samaritans offers a listening ear in a number of ways and settings, including at festivals. Since Festival Branch was set up in 1973, volunteers have attended approximately 550 festivals to date. And in 2022 alone, its UK Festival Branch provided emotional support to almost 2,000 festival goers across 16 different festivals, whilst raising awareness of Samaritans to 700,000 attendees.
Samaritans Listening Garden, which debuted at RHS Chelsea Flower Show this May, has been reimagined and will visit festivals this summer to raise awareness of the support Samaritans has provided to festival goers for 50 years.
This week, Latitude Festival welcomes a reimagining of Samaritans Listening Garden to provide a place where people can sit, reflect, talk and listen, to highlight the charity’s life-saving impact on the festival community.
Hazel Buontempo, Branch Director of Festival Branch, said: “Festival Branch was originally set up to ensure Samaritans was reaching more communities and being as accessible as possible – something we continue to strive for today. Festival goers come from all walks of life, and any of us can face challenges at any time. Even amidst the revelry of a concert and a mass of people, and in fact sometimes even more so, you can feel overwhelmed by things you are struggling with and need support. We’re so proud of the difference we have made as we reach 50 and are excited to continue supporting the festival circuit for years to come.”
Melvin Benn, Managing Director of Festival Republic, commented: “We’re thrilled to have Samaritans at a number of our festivals throughout the year. Having ‘Samaritans Listening Garden at Latitude’ is a wonderful way to say thank you to all the invaluable support volunteers have given to the festival network over the past 50 years.”
Darren Hawkes, garden designer and listening volunteer, said: “Latitude is just one part of Samaritans Listening Garden’s legacy. As well as travelling to Eisteddfod in Wales next month, elements of the original garden will be relocated to a number of our branches this year, such as Taunton and Plymouth. Our core message that listening can save lives will be reaching more and more communities as time goes on and I personally can’t wait to work on its relocation at my own branch in Truro next year.”
For more information, images & assets, interviews or statistics, please contact:
Nithiya Gnanathas, Partnership & Influencing PR Manager
Joe Bookbinder, Press Officer
Anyone can contact Samaritans FREE any time from any phone on 116 123, even a mobile without credit. This number won’t show up on your phone bill. Or you can visit www.samaritans.org
Every 10 seconds, Samaritans responds to a call for help.