Last year, 196 Samaritans volunteers from the Cork branch answered 48,664 calls for help, according to the latest figures released by the national charity. Overall in the Republic of Ireland, 1,664 volunteers in Ireland answered 472,968 calls for help*.
The figures are being released to coincide with National Volunteering Week which runs from 11-17 May. Samaritans is taking this opportunity to say a very big “thank you” to the generous volunteers who provide the round-the-clock service.
This year volunteers have been busier than ever, as calls to the charity have increased by over 50% since Samaritans launched a new free to call number – 116 123 – in the Republic of Ireland. Samaritans is calling for new volunteers to step forward as part of National Volunteering Week to help respond to the increased demand for the service.
Samaritans’ volunteers are ordinary people, who provide a safe and confidential place to talk. When someone contacts Samaritans, they can be themselves – there is no judgment. Volunteers do a great deal, both in terms of answering calls, emails and texts as well as outreach work. They allow people the space to open up about whatever it is that is making it hard for them to cope.
Cork is involved in many areas of outreach work where individuals may not otherwise have access to the service. One such example was the recent establishment of our ‘Listener’ scheme in Cork prison where we trained prisoners to be listeners to their fellow inmates. We also work in schools, colleges and community groups and work specifically with high risk groups such as men and travellers. We are also proactive in supporting other mental health awareness Charity events, such as Cycle Against Suicide and Pieta House’s Darkness into Light walk.
Cindy O’Shea, Director of Cork Samaritans said:
“I am so grateful to all of our volunteers at Cork. I want to thank them all for their dedication and hard work. It’s great to see our volunteers deliver the same service through many different channels, whatever their age or length of service. We know that our callers benefit from having a real person to connect with, someone who is trained to listen to them.
“Samaritans wouldn’t exist without the commitment of these generous people. As well as providing support, there are lots of ways people can get involved at Samaritans, whether it’s fundraising, helping with admin or IT, we can use their skills.”
Anyone who is interested in becoming a Samaritans volunteer can call 1890 200 091 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Samaritans is available round the clock, every single day of the year. They offer a safe place for anyone to talk who is struggling to cope, whoever they are, however they feel, whatever life has done to them.
Samaritans is available round the clock, every single day of the year. We provide a safe place for anyone struggling to cope, whoever they are, however they feel, whatever life has done to them. Please call 116 123, email email@example.com, or visit us between 9am & 10pm at 8 Coach Street, Cork