At Samaritans, we've seen call volumes increase as the pandemic takes its toll on the mental health of the isolated and the vulnerable, be they young or old. We rely entirely on volunteers to provide our 24/7/365 service and need to raise all the funds required to keep our branch running.
We are largely dependent on local fundraising activities to cover our branch overheads but we've been unable to do any face-to-face fundraising since lockdown began over 5 months ago. Before Covid-19, our volunteers would be out and about, collecting from commuters at Hitchin, Baldock, Letchworth, Royston or Stevenage railway stations, from shoppers in local supermarkets and the wider community in our market squares. All this has had to end, and we face a significant shortfall against our fundraising target.
We desperately need funding to help keep our branch running and our phone lines open.
- £10 enables our volunteers to answer 2 phone calls from people in need.
- £24 keeps Samaritans’ helpline open for 3 minutes. Our running costs have increased due to the need for enhanced cleaning: materials such as hand sanitiser, wipes, spray and paper towels are needed to keep our volunteers safe, plus the cost of deep cleaning the branch as the need arises.
- £92 covers the cost to train and support 2 volunteers for 1 year. Roughly a third of our volunteers have had to self-isolate, so while many of our remaining volunteers have taken on additional shifts, we have been working hard to find and train new recruits. It takes 63 hours and more than six months, to train a new volunteer. We urgently need funds to cover these training costs as well as the advertising costs required to attract and recruit new volunteers.
Please help us to continue to take calls from those who are struggling to cope right now and help ensure we remain a safe dependable place to turn in the months following the fall out of this crisis.
Samaritans’ vision is that fewer people die by suicide. Suicide is not inevitable; it is preventable. The causes of suicide are complex, but we know it is both a gender and an inequality issue. Behind every statistic is an individual with a family, and a community, devastated by their loss.
We are Samaritans of North Herts & Stevenage and like all of the 200 local Samaritans branches, we run as an independent charity and are fully responsible for raising our own funds.
In 2019, our branch alone:
- Took over 28,000 phone calls
- Answered 1,876 emails
- Responded to 4,300 text messages.
There are two way you can help.
If you're able to, please contribute. As little as £10 could make a difference in helping us be there for someone in need.
Crowdfunding succeeds because people spread the word, so please use the social media links to help us reach even more people.
Thank you for helping us help those who need help most.