We are delighted to announce that iHasco will be supporting The Samaritans (Bracknell, Wokingham, Ascot and Districts branch)!
Whilst developing our Mental Health and Wellbeing Training programmes, we realised that whilst this course might have the potential to help people and organisations across the UK, it may not necessarily have a big impact in the local community. We, therefore, brainstormed effective ways of making a genuine difference in our local community and supporting a local charity who focused on supporting people's mental health, came out on top of our list!
Nick Tuggey, a Listening Volunteer and Fundraising Coordinator for the Samaritans recently visited iHasco to discuss the great work that goes on at Samaritan branches up and down the UK and how we could be of service.
Who are The Samaritans and what do they do?
The Samaritans were formed in 1953 by a vicar called Chad Varah. Throughout his career, Chad had offered counselling to members of his parish but wanted to help a wider number of people who were struggling with mental health issues.
The first call to the new service was made on 2nd November 1953 and this date is recognised as Samaritans' official birthday. He was, in his own words, "a man willing to listen, with a base and an emergency telephone".
The Samaritans now have over 201 branches across the UK and the Republic of Ireland and over 21,000 incredible volunteers!
How they make a difference
The Samaritans receive a call every 6 seconds, that means that in a minute, they have 10 opportunities to turn someone's life around. As they perfectly summarise, it's a privilege and a huge responsibility.
Samaritan volunteers are always available, every single day of the year. Each volunteer is carefully trained to deal with all types of phone calls and will put aside any personal beliefs. They won't give you a label, a diagnosis or a medical prescription; they are simply there to listen!
The volunteer I spoke to was very kind, and within five minutes I felt completely comfortable. He let me talk and never once tried to tell me what to do.
Speaking to Samaritans gave me the reassurance I needed that everything would be ok.
Just some of the fantastic work that goes on at the Samaritans Bracknell, Wokingham, Ascot and Districts Branch...
Each year the Bracknell Branch needs to raise £25K to keep the Bracknell centre open for in-coming phone, email and SMS callers as well as personal visitors from the local community. They receive no Government aid and all of their funds are self-generated.
- All of their volunteers (around 100) are unpaid and give their time to help those who are feeling in the depths of despair, despondency and suicidal.
- Last year, there were 22,396 calls for help to your Bracknell branch – a 10 percent increase on the previous year. Recently Samaritans introduced a free call number across its services, and they are seeing increasing numbers of people reaching out to them through this means.
- The Bracknell branch also runs regular outreach in the emergency departments of local hospitals, offering emotional support to patients and their families. They are also available to attend local railway stations when tragic incidents occur there. In addition, they have a dedicated team which gives talks at local schools, voluntary groups, festivals, businesses and clubs
The shocking statistics behind suicide in the UK
- Every single day, around 16 people decide to end their own lives across England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
- Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 50
- and young people aged 20-34
- in 2015, 6,639 people took their own life
- 3/4 of deaths by suicide are men
- Suicide is not equal, the lower your social class the more likely you are to be affected by suicide
How we plan to help
We've been exploring a number of ways to help support and fundraise for the Samaritans, here are just some of the things we'll be doing in the next 12 months:
- Introducing collection tins around the iHasco office to raise funds.
- We'll be going on challenging, sponsored team trips, hosting poker nights and many other events to raise funds!
- Sponsoring the Samaritans Run on the 30th of June. We'll also have runners from iHasco that will be raising funds.
- We'll be visiting Hope Cottage (Samaritan offices in Bracknell) to speak to the volunteers and helping wherever we can with projects at the offices.
- Raising funds for Tim and Liam (Samaritan volunteers who are running the London Marathon and walking the Thames Path (200km) retrospectively).
Our target for the year... Help us get behind this fantastic organisation!
Our fundraising target for the next 12 months is £2000. We'd love for you to get involved and help us hit our fundraising target. If you'd like to do your bit, please follow the link below and donate. Every little helps!
Virgin Money Giving - Help iHasco raise money for the Samaritans!