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Cork Samaritans will hold a Firewalk on Friday 30th of January at 8pm in the Ambassador Hotel, Military Hill.

45 enthusiastic volunteers, family & friends will walk across the hot coals as a symbolic gesture signifying Samaritans availability and willingness to support anyone going through challenging and difficult times. We will be there for people, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to listen to their stories, no matter what is going on for them.

For many of our callers January & February can be a tough time, it’s a bleak time of the year. The post Christmas slump affects everyone and at this time of the month Christmas bills begin to land on doorsteps. People can be very stressed and find it difficult to cope. We want people to know that our volunteers will be available round the clock, for anyone who is struggling. We’re there to listen and to support callers, whatever their circumstances.

According to Samaritan Irelands Impact Report, Launched in December 2014 , over 478,200 calls came to the National helpline, almost 12,000 emails and over 8,000 texts were answered by Samaritans volunteers. The Cork Branch answered almost 50,000 calls in 2014. There were also just under 8,700 face to face visits to Samaritans branches across the Republic. The Cork branch received 1,100 of these.

Samaritans received an average of 1,310 daily contacts in the year to October — an increase of 266 calls a day compared to the previous 12 months. The numbers of calls have increased by 52% since the launch of Freecall (116 123) in March, with particular increases in Quarters 3 & 4. Our volunteers are busier than ever and have increased the amount of listening hours they provide by over 38 per cent since the number was launched.

The issues which people contact Samaritans about have remained consistent over the last number of years. These include family and relationship problems; financial worries; depression and mental health problems; loneliness; stress and anxiety.

The Firewalk gives us a chance to publicise our branch, our availability and our absolute dedication & commitment to our callers. PJ Coogan of Corks 96FM will be the MC for the event and the firewalkers will be accompanied in their journey by the Kinsale Drumming Group. The Firewalk itself will be followed with live music by Sugar Mountain from East Cork.