We need your help so we can help those in distress

We need your help so we can help those in distress

DON LYNCH, the recently appointed chairman of the Cork branch of The Samaritans, outlines the challenges ahead for local volunteers — including a funding crisis which is putting services in Cork in danger. I’ve been a volunteer with Cork Samaritans for three years and it has been the most amazing experience. From the initial 10 weeks of training to taking my first call to recently being granted the wonderful honour by my fellow volunteers of being elected chairman of the branch. The Cork branch is one of the busiest Samaritan centres in Ireland. It is also the second largest. We first opened our doors in September 1972 and we now have 220 active volunteers of all ages. Our volunteers give, on average, 11 hours a month to supporting callers who are experiencing difficulties in life. Every year, the Cork branch receives approximately 40,000 calls, with more than 1,000 people calling to the centre. Our vision is for a society in which fewer people die by suicide. We are committed to the following values: Listening, because exploring feelings alleviates distress and helps people to reach a better understanding of their situation and the options open to them. Confidentiality, because if people feel safe, they are more likely to be open about their feelings. Choice, because we believe that people have the right to find their own solution and telling people what to do takes responsibility away from them. Being non-judgemental, because we want people to be able to talk to us without fear of prejudice or rejection. Human contact, because giving people time, undivided attention and empathy meets a fundamental emotional need and reduces distress and despair. People are able to explore their feelings and to acknowledge and respect the feelings of others. One of the challenges we face is in relation to the public perception of our organisation. Very few people realise we are a non-religious organisation. The Cork branch...
Funk N Something fundraiser in aid of Cork Samaritans

Funk N Something fundraiser in aid of Cork Samaritans

The lovely people behind Funk N Something are holding a fundraiser for the Cork Samaritans on Friday the 31st of May in the Ruby Lounge on Washington Street in Cork city. Featured acts include Fabula Di Beaumarchais, Lucy Von Furr, Rosie Howick, the amazing Diane O’Sullivan and the gang from Studio D, with music by DJ Kev. Doors open at 9pm and it will cost €5. The will also be a raffle on the night with some lovely prizes. All proceeds go to Cork Samaritans.   ‘Funk ‘N’ Something’ is a night with a difference. There’s always great acts, singers, dancers, comedians and live music. We have the best songs playing everything from DISCO to chart and from Funk to showtunes. A great crowd and an amazing energy. If you want a night out with a difference make sure you come to the next ‘Funk N Something’. We promise you a night with a difference 🙂 The Samaritans provide a 24 hour, 7 day a week phone, walk in, email and SMS service for people who are finding life tough. The Cork branch has been open for over 40 years and people are welcome to drop in to 7/8 Coach Street, near the Mercy Hospital between 9am and 10pm each day. The branch currently has 220 volunteers and will hold an information evening on June 12th at 7.30 in Coach Street for those interested in becoming listening or support volunteers. Samaritans can be contacted at 1850 60 9090, text 087 2609090 orbe email on jo@samaritans.org...
Samaritans Urge the Public to ‘Call Us’

Samaritans Urge the Public to ‘Call Us’

Cork Samaritans held an unusual awareness campaign on Patrick’s Street during the month of April. In conjunction with Sinead Shepherd’s School of Dance Samaritans staged a Flashmob style event where over 50 people danced to Carly Rae Jepsons song ‘Call Me Maybe’ with a catchy dance routine that saw passers by tapping their feet and clapping along. The fine weather ensured a great atmosphere and the bright Purple & Green t shirts stood out among the gathered crowds. Colourful balloons were released into the air and complete with Brazilian Music & acrobats there was a positive carnival atmosphere on the street. The focus of the event was to encourage people to think of Samaritans if they need to talk and mainly to highlight the message to ‘Call us’. Samaritans provide a 24 hour, 7 day a week phone, walk in, email and SMS service for people who are experiencing difficulties in their lives. In 2012 Samaritans received over 500,000 calls in Ireland. The Cork branch is a well established Cork institution for over 40 years and can be found on Coach Street, near the Mercy Hospital. The branch operates with 220 willing volunteers, many of whom could be seen dancing on Patrick Street or giving out information, wrist bands & pens during the event. Many people are experiencing unprecedented stress in their lives at present and we want them to think of us if they need to talk, nothing is too big or too small, if you need to talk to us just pick up the phone, said Cindy O’Shea, director. Samaritans can be contacted at 1850 60 9090,...
Google maps Virtual Tour

Google maps Virtual Tour

Did you know that you can call into the Samaritans Centre on Coach Street any day between 9am & 10pm? Ever wondered what our visitor rooms look like? Well thanks to the power of Google Maps, you can now take a virtual tour of our building. Click on this link to start the tour: http://goo.gl/maps/SdNWQ Special thanks must go to Paula Johnson Photography who helped us get this online. We highly recommend her...
Award honour for Samaritans’ Pio

Award honour for Samaritans’ Pio

  PIO FENTON, a native of Glenville, has been named the October Cork Person of the Month, to mark his voluntary work with The Samaritans over the past eight years. In 2007, Mr Fenton was promoted to deputy director of the Cork branch, responsible for training of new volunteers. He took over as branch director in 2010, giving more than 30 voluntary hours per week, and has recently been appointed regional director for Ireland, with responsibility for all branches north and south of the border. “Highlights of Pio’s leadership include achieving a 24-hour service, seven days a week, by his volunteer teams” said Jerry Buttimer TD, who nominated Mr Fenton for the award. Mr Fenton who lives in Blackrock, and lectures at the Waterford Institute of Technology, said he hoped the award would further promote the work of The Samaritans, which celebrates its 40th anniversary in Cork this year. “The Samaritans take 500,000 calls a year across Ireland, and the past year has been the busiest in the history of the organisation. We now have 2000 volunteers in Ireland and in Cork we have 200 active volunteers of all ages. When someone calls, they give no advice, and no judgement, just a listening and sympathetic ear,” he said. Mr Fenton’s name now goes forward with the other monthly winners for possible selection as Cork Person of the Year, at a Gala Awards Lunch on January 18 next, attended in President Michael D. Higgins. You can contact the Cork Samaritans by phone on 1850 609090 or volunteer to help by taking part in training courses at 7/8 Coach Street,...
Samaritans Announces New Partnership with Telecoms for Free-Phone Helpline

Samaritans Announces New Partnership with Telecoms for Free-Phone Helpline

  Samaritans has today (06.09.12) announced a ground-breaking agreement with the six largest telecoms in Ireland on the provision of a new free-phone helpline number.  Samaritans’ helpline provides support for anyone struggling to cope, including those with feelings that could lead to suicide. It is expected that the new helpline number will be operational in the first half of next year. In July 2007, the European Commission decided to reserve a common telephone number – 116 123 – for emotional support helplines in all EU member states.  This followed on from the decision by the European Commission to designate other 116 numbers for services of extreme social value, such as those concerned with missing children or victims of crime. In Ireland, ComReg was charged with managing the assignment of the 116 numbers.  It assigned the emotional support helpline to Samaritans, as it is the only organisation in Ireland (voluntary or statutory) already meeting – and exceeding – all of the European Commission’s minimum standards for the harmonised emotional support service, notably its 24-hour-a-day, seven-days-a week coverage. Since the number was allocated, Samaritans has been in negotiations with the six largest telecoms providers (BT Ireland; eircom/Meteor; 02; Three; UPC; and Vodafone), which are members of IBEC’s Telecommunications and Internet Federation (TIF). They have now committed to a two-year funding programme for the number. Commenting today, Suzanne Costello, Director of Samaritans Ireland, said the organisation is extremely grateful to each of the telecoms providers who listened to the case for funding the 116 number and who have now taken it on. “At present, Samaritans operates a lo-call helpline number, which received...
Cork Samaritans to mark 2012 World Suicide Day

Cork Samaritans to mark 2012 World Suicide Day

The Cork branch of Samaritans will be holding an awareness event on Patrick Street on Saturday  the 8th of September to mark World Suicide Day – which falls this year on Monday the 10th of September. Volunteers from the branch will be Patrick Street from 11am onwards handing out leaflets, balloons, pens, wristbands along with some lollipops! The idea of this event is to make people aware that there is plenty of support available for anyone who may need it, at any time. We have found that people are often too embarrassed to talk about their feelings which as a result can lead them to experiencing despair or distress. According to the International Association for Suicide Prevention, “Suicidal behaviour has become a major public health  problem across the world. It is a complex phenomenon that usually occurs along a continuum, progressing from suicidal thoughts, to planning, to attempting suicide, and  finally dying by suicide, which represents the final tragic outcome of a morbid process.” The Samaritans in Cork provide 24 hour support by phone on 1850 609090 and by email on jo@samaritans.org. We also welcome visitors to our centre on Coach Street (near the Mercy Hospital) every day from 9am to 10pm. Finally you are on Patrick Street on the 8th of September, be sure to come up to us and say hello....
David’s Way Round – Four Nations Charity Biker comes to Cork

David’s Way Round – Four Nations Charity Biker comes to Cork

  Next Thursday, the 16th of August at 10.30am David Exley, who’s riding a bright green motorcycle, will come to Cork as part of his  6,000 miles trip to raise funds for the Samaritans. David is visiting each of the 201 Samaritans branches, highlighting the charity’s vital 24-hour service and is also doing the ride in memory of his brother Tim, and son James who both sadly died by suicide. “Twenty-four years ago my younger brother Tim, at the age of 32, took his own life on Christmas Day,” said David. “Four years ago my only son James tragically ended his own life. He was 34 years old. It feels as though lightening has struck the family twice. I cannot help wondering that if either James or Tim had contacted Samaritans they may be alive today.” David kick-started his engine at Worthing Samaritans in the UK on Monday 2nd July, and his final pit stop will be in Cardiff on the 20th August. You can view when David progress here: http://www.samaritans.org/david The Samaritans is a volunteer-led organization which provides confidential and non judgmental and emotional support, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for people who are experiencing feelings of distress of despair, including those which would lead to suicide. You can call the Samaritans on 1850 60 90 9 and as always face to face support is available from 9am – 10pm at 7 Coach Street,...
Samaritans Festival Volunteers will be available on the street at this year’s Midsummer Festival

Samaritans Festival Volunteers will be available on the street at this year’s Midsummer Festival

Samaritans, the emotional support charity will have volunteers from it’s Irish Festival group at the Cork Midsummer Festival. They will be providing unique, confidential, non-judgmental, face-to-face emotional support in a discreet way to all those in need. The volunteers will be available around the Daunt square area from 9pm Friday evening all the way right through to 3am Sunday. Festival volunteers come from Samaritan branches all across Ireland and receive additional training to provide emotional support in the open. Irish Festival Samaritans attend various festivals across Ireland during the summer months. These include the Lisdoonvarna matchmaking festival, the North West 200 in Portrush, the Fleadh in Cavan, Riverfest in Limerick and Oxygen. In 2011 the number of people accessing emotional support at all festivals was nearly 1,500. Festival Samaritans Group Co-ordinator Catherine Slater says “We as Samaritans are delighted to be at the Cork Midsummer Festival to provide discreet face-to-face emotional support to anyone who needs it over the weekend. People attend festivals including the Midsummer Festival to meet up with old friends, make some new ones and generally to have a good time. For some people though, crowded places can sometimes be very lonely when they are in distress or despair. Making the Samaritan service available in the open allows us to reach people who may not have yet made contact with us by phone or by email. By our presence on the streets of Cork during Midsummer Festival we can provide that valuable emotional space to allow a person to talk to our volunteers about their feelings, most particularly if they are in distress. If they need...
Presenting our 40th Anniversary logos

Presenting our 40th Anniversary logos

  As part of our 40th Anniversary celebrations, we commissioned special logos to commemorative the fact, that we are 40 years in Cork. Our designer, the talented Peter O’Toole, came up with several concepts and because we specifically liked two of them, we decided to have two commemorative logos.     Click on the logos to see larger versions of...