Samaritans volunteers answered more than 5.1million calls for help last year across UK and Ireland

Last year, 20,980 Samaritans volunteers answered 5,146,855 calls for help across the UK and the ROI, according to the latest figures from the helpline charity.

The figures are being released to coincide with Volunteers’ Week, which runs from 1-7 June. Samaritans is taking this opportunity to say a very big “thank you” to all the generous volunteers who provide the service round the clock, answering calls for help, from people struggling to cope.   

In November this year, Samaritans will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of founder, Prebendary Dr Chad Varah CH CBE, taking the first Samaritans call on 02 November 1953.

Launching the anniversary celebrations earlier this month HRH The Prince of Wales, Patron of Samaritans, hosted a reception for distinguished guests and volunteers. Among those present were Stephen Fry, Joanna Lumley, Lord Grade and Felicity Varah Harding, daughter of Chad.

His Royal Highness also visited Central London Samaritans, the largest and oldest Samaritans branch, where he unveiled a portrait of Chad and met with volunteers, staff and donors.

Stephen Hoddell, Chair of Samaritans, said:

Without our dedicated volunteers we wouldn’t be here for people struggling to cope.

Most people still contact us by telephone, but email and text messages are growing significantly.

Samaritans continues to reach out to the local community, with face to face meetings in schools, prisons, railway stations and hospitals.

It’s clear that sixty years after Samaritans was founded, people need us as much now as they ever did.”


Samaritans' 2012 Annual Regional Statistics

Branch Calls for help answered in branches Number of volunteers
East of England  440,689  1,548
East Midlands 327,759 1,124
London 439,089 2,042
Northern Ireland 162,867 853
North 127,285 622
North West 517,628  1,723
Republic of Ireland 387,450 1,654
Scotland 221,154  1,060
South 512,969  1,832
South East 465,474 1,619
South West 421,526 1,170
Wales & The Marches 246,219 1,140
West Midlands 344,745 1,381
Yorkshire & Humberside 445,725 1,561
Prison Listeners 86,276 1,651
Total 5,146,855 20,980

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 116 123, email, or visit to find details of the nearest branch.