Samaritans issue emergency appeal to keep vital service running during 'crucial time'

Sunderland Samaritans is in urgent need of donations to ensure its volunteers can continue to support people struggling to cope during this ‘crucial time’.

Sunday, 12th April 2020, 5:03 pm
Updated Wednesday, 15th April 2020, 4:58 pm
Samaritans Sunderland Suzanne Armitage is appealing for the public's support

Following Government’s confirmation that Samaritans volunteers are critical to supporting vulnerable people, Sunderland Samaritans says it is making every effort to ensure that they are able to provide emotional support to anyone in crisis.

But over one third of the volunteers are having to self-isolate and the number of calls the branch is receiving has increased during recent weeks.

Volunteers that are able to carry out shifts at the Sunderland branch are following strict guidelines on hygiene standards and social distancing. The situation will be continually monitored to ensure that volunteer safety is prioritised.

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Branch Director at Sunderland Samaritans, Suzanne Armitage, said: “For 50 years, our branch has provided a listening ear to anyone who needs support, which has been possible through the public’s kind donations.

“This year we are celebrating providing 50 years of service to our community in Sunderland and South Tyneside and were planning a range of fundraising activities, which obviously have had to be postponed.

“Now more than ever, we need the public’s continued support. Due to the cancellation of our 50th Anniversary Celebrations and fundraising events we are facing a significant loss of funding, so we are calling on Sunderland and South Tyneside residents to help us ensure that we continue to be here

for anyone who needs support.”

A donation as little as £5 will help volunteers to answer a call for help from someone struggling to cope and be there when people need support the most.

Sunderland Samaritans, which also covers South Tyneside, is encouraging the public to consider participating in virtual fundraising – have a virtual coffee morning with family and friends, consider using your one hour exercise to clock up miles by walking, running or cycling and raise vital funds for Samaritans during the coronavirus

lockdown.

To make a donation and find out other ways you can support Sunderland Samaritans please visit https://www.samaritans.org/branches/sunderland

Those worried about their own mental health or someone else during the coronavirus outbreak can find some useful online resources and advice here on Samaritans website.

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