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Across Scotland, Samaritans volunteers spent more than 60,000 hours - the equivalent of over 2,500 days - providing emotional support in 2018.
Volunteers, from Scotland’s 19 branches stretching from the Borders to the Shetland, were contacted more than 249,000 times or every two minutes last year. More than 750 volunteers in Scotland give up their time every month to support Samaritans’ 24-hour listening service, contributing the equivalent of over £840,000 in time.
Our Impact Report 2017-18 recognises the staggering contribution our volunteers make, supporting Samaritans to be there for people whenever and wherever they need us. It also shares how we are working with decision-makers, services, businesses and communities, to realise our vision for a Scotland where fewer people die by suicide and where everyone can ask for and access support when they need it most.
In addition to providing emotional support to people when they need it most, Samaritans Scotland volunteers ran around 600 events local communities, working alongside schools and youth groups, local services, business and grassroot organisations to promote emotional wellbeing.
Read our Impact Report
Our volunteers were contacted more than 249,000 times last year and spent the equivalent of 2,500 days responding to people in distress. These numbers show our service is just as relevant and necessary today as it was when Samaritans first began.
James Jopling, Executive Director for Samaritans Scotland
James Jopling, Executive Director for Samaritans Scotland, said:
“Our volunteers are ordinary people who give up their time to do something extraordinary. Their contribution means Samaritans can be there for people when they need us most, giving callers a space where they can talk openly and honestly about whatever it is they’re struggling with.
“In Scotland our volunteers were contacted more than 249,000 times in the last year and spent the equivalent of 2,500 days responding to people in distress. These numbers show our service is just as relevant and necessary today as it was when Samaritans first began. But we need more volunteers to keep up with this demand and ensure we can be continuing being there, whenever and wherever we’re needed in the years ahead.”
Mental Health Minister Clare Haughey also commended the contribution of volunteers in Scotland saying: “It’s remarkable that volunteers across Scotland have given up more than 60,000 hours of their time to be there for people who are struggling and may not have anyone else they feel they can turn to.
“Services like Samaritans play a vital role in promoting emotional wellbeing and reducing suicide by providing a listening ear, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”