THE SAMARITANS celebrated its 60th birthday on November 2 and too mark the occasion volunteers from the Haverfordwest branch displayed a stand in Morrisons Store, Haverfordwest on November 13, complete with a Christmas tree bearing the words 60 years of listening.
This event was one of many taking place across the UK and ROI, as the charity marks 60 years since its founder, Prebendary Dr Chad Varah CH CBE, took the very first call to the helpline on November 2 1953. The display informed the public what Samaritans do, the services they provide and to attract any potential volunteers, without whom the charity could not function.
Samaritans Haverfordwest Branch opened in 1976 and quickly became part of the local community and it is now one of the town’s biggest and oldest charities, with around 30 listening volunteers and more working in the Samaritans shop at the top of Market Street. Last year, Haverfordwest Samaritans answered 10,930 calls for help.
The Samaritans was the first 24-hour telephone helpline in the world, and has answered over 115 million calls for help since it took its first call in 1953. The charity now has 20,980 volunteers across the UK and ROI who answer more than five million calls every year.
Samaritans has been helping people through difficult times for 60 years and this is a significant milestone for the charity. Last year, a call to the service was made every six seconds, showing the need for them to continue to be there is greater than ever.
The Samaritans is available round the clock, every single day of the year. They provide a safe place for anyone struggling to cope, whoever they are, however they feel, whatever life has done to them.
Call 08457 90 90 90 (UK) 1850 60 90 90 (ROI), email [email protected] or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of the nearest branch.
You can also visit the Haverfordwest Branch at 1 Albert Street for face-to-face support when they are open. Their local helpline number is 01437 766699.