GBBO star Laura Adlington will be unveiling an exclusive celebration cake with fellow Samaritans Ambassadors - actor Jason Flemyng and author Elizabeth Day - at Samaritans' Listening Garden on Monday
Last year there wasn’t a single second that Samaritans weren’t on the phone to someone in need, but one volunteer has found the time to design a showstopping garden for the charity to mark 70 years of listening at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
Samaritans’ Listening Garden, funded by Project Giving Back, is designed by award-winning garden designer and Samaritans volunteer, Darren Hawkes, and is inspired by stories of people who found the courage to reach out to Samaritans in their darkest times.
As the charity reveals that they’ve answered more than 134 million calls from people struggling to cope over the last 70 years, the garden is also a reminder of how vital Samaritans is and that it’s needed now more than ever before.
Darren Hawkes, garden designer and Samaritans volunteer, commented: “It’s been a privilege to design a thought-provoking show garden that represents the complexity of mental health. Sadly, I’ve lost friends to suicide and becoming a volunteer and designing this garden for Samaritans seemed like the perfect way to honour them.”
Julie Bentley, CEO of Samaritans, said: “We are so grateful to Darren and Project Giving Back for gifting us with this unique opportunity to raise awareness of the life saving work Samaritans does, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
“Last year, Samaritans volunteers spent almost 1 million hours responding to calls for help. Darren’s role as one of our 23,000 amazing volunteers has led him to create a beautiful representation of something he knows first hand - that listening can save lives. As we mark 70 years, we hope that visitors will be inspired to support us in whatever way they can, to ensure Samaritans continues to be there in the future.”
Elizabeth Day, Author and Ambassador for Samaritans, added: “I can’t wait to visit Samaritans’ Listening Garden next week, which honours the journey that callers have when they reach out for help. Starting as a phone line 70 years ago, the charity has evolved so much to achieve the countless ways it reaches and supports people from all communities today. I hope Chelsea visitors enjoy both the beauty and the meaning behind the garden, and Samaritans finds new supporters to join them on their mission to reduce lives lost to suicide.”
Elizabeth will be joined by Hollywood actor Jason Flemyng and Laura Adlington, the podcaster and mental health influencer. A former Samaritans volunteer, Laura is cutting a bespoke cake she’s designed to commemorate Samaritans’ 70th at the garden next week and is sharing the recipe to encourage home bakers to celebrate Samaritans’ impact too.
For more information, images & assets, interviews or statistics, please contact:
Nithiya Gnanathas, Partnership & Influencing PR Manager
[email protected] / 07485 345 486
Joe Bookbinder, Press Officer
[email protected] / 07483 028 705
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