Samaritans to listen for more than 12,500 hours this Christmas

Samaritans volunteers in branches across Ireland will take part in a series of events on December 21 st to mark the shortest day of the year and highlight Samaritans’ 24/7 service in the run-up to the festive season and beyond.

Marking the event Samaritans’ Cork Director, Aileen Spitere, said everyone involved was astounded by the response from the public last week.

"There was a real sense of coming together," she said. "Christmas can be a very hard time for so many people and we want to let everyone in distress know that whatever you are going through, your life is worth talking about.”

Samaritans has 20 branches nationwide and nearly 2,500 volunteers of all ages and backgrounds offering emotional support for anyone struggling to cope and a safe space for people to talk, in their own way, about whatever’s getting to them.

Almost 1,200 volunteers will be working shifts for Samaritans to ensure its helpline is open around the clock, even on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.

Ms Spitere went on: "Samaritans are available to listen every hour of the day, 365 days a year and with the hours of daylight at their fewest on the winter solstice it’s a time to reflect on what can be a difficult time of year for people who are lonely, worried and feeling the pressure associated with Christmas.

"Samaritans can help you through tough times and volunteers can help you explore your options, understand your problems, or just be there at the other end of the phone."

In Cork, volunteers will be asking the public to join them on the Grand Parade at 8pm on December 21 for a candlelight ceremony to remember all those who died (and were affected) by suicide in 2017.

Samaritans’ Regional Director, Cindy O’Shea went on: “Christmas is not a great time of year for all of our callers. While December 21st is the shortest and darkest day of the year, many people feel they are in a dark place every day of the year. If people are experiencing extra stress this Christmas we want them to know Samaritans will be there for them in their darkest hour.”

For more information and details check visit the Samaritans website


- Digital desk 


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