Thanks a Millican, say Samaritans

Samaritans volunteers across the UK and Ireland are celebrating after Sarah Millican helped them raise more than £180,000 to support their life-saving work.

The comedian and writer has just finished a year-long sell-out tour where she encouraged her audiences to make a donation to the charity through bucket collections after every single show.

The result is an astonishing £181,834.63, which will be shared across Samaritans’ 201 branches to help fund the work they do in their local communities, lending a listening ear to anyone who is going through a tough time.

Sarah Millican’s fans were all the more generous after hearing Sarah’s own story of calling Samaritans when she hit rock bottom after the break-up of her first marriage. Sarah said:

“I expected it to be like when you ring the bank with a bit of music and some options. Nope, they answer super-quietly and they just let you talk. And they’re there 24 hours a day every single day of the year for anyone who needs them.

“I’ve always known what smashers my audiences are, and they’ve done a great job yet again. Thank you, lovely people, for supporting Samaritans, such an incredible charity.”

Bob Howe has been a Samaritans volunteer for more than 18 years, based at its branch in Leeds. As well as answering calls, he’s put in a shift organising the bucket collections, 193 in all. He said:

“To Sarah and to every single person who donated after one of her shows, I want to say thank you, not just from Samaritans, but on behalf of future callers to us too.

“Life is tough, and anyone can feel overwhelmed. We listen and we don’t judge. I can say from experience that, whether it’s the middle of the night or the middle of the afternoon, if people share difficult thoughts or feelings with us, it can change their lives – they realise that they can carry on.”

“Donations help to keep our branches running and our volunteers ready for that next call.”

Following Sarah’s sold out tour of the UK and Ireland, she’s taking her Control Enthusiast show overseas in 2019. But not before staging her annual #joinin event on Twitter on Christmas Day when anyone in need of company and light-hearted cheer can just hop on the hashtag – and join in!

For more information, please contact or 020 8394 8396/07943 809162 (out of hours).

Picture caption (s):

  1. Volunteers in Swansea say ‘thanks a Millican’.
  2. Samaritans CEO Ruth Sutherland gets ready to thank Sarah’s ‘smashing’ audiences for their donations.
  3. Sarah Millican selfie with Samaritans volunteer Bob Howe

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Notes to editors:

  • You can call Samaritans for free in confidence any time from any phone, even a mobile without credit, on 116 123 (this number will not appear on your phone bill). Or email, or visit to find details of your nearest branch where you can talk to one of our trained volunteer face to face.
  • Samaritans responds to more than 5 million calls for help every year. Your money or your time could save a life. Find out how you can support us:
  • Find out more about Sarah Millican at: