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

Samaritans volunteers in Galway will be among those on hand for a staggering 12,500 hours over the festive season to listen to anyone having a tough time.

Almost 1,200 volunteers across the country will be working shifts for the charity to insure its helpline is open around the clock, even on Christmas Day and New Years Eve.

Mental health, family issues, isolation and loneliness are expected to be the top concerns. Relationship problems, physical health, violence, abuse and bereavement are likely too feature too, as well as drug and alcohol issues.

Samaritans volunteer and branch director, Anne Wynne says if you’re dealing with difficult thoughts and feelings, the festive season can make everything seem worse.

“Whether you’re on your own or feeling alone in a crowd, We don’t want anyone to to struggle, So remember you can tell Samaritans for free from any phone and, if you’re planning to have a good Christmas this year yourself, have a think about those around you who may not be as lucky and give them the gift of listening.”

Samaritans are encouraging us all to give the gift of listening by telling friends and family it’s okay to open up if something is troubling them.

Please consider making a donation to your local branch this Christmas, to help ensure that Samaritans’ services are there for everyone who needs them today and every day of the year.

John, who called Samaritans when he had a difficult Christmas, said there is an expectation across society that Christmas is a great time of the year, everyone should be having fun.

“And I was trying, but i just couldn’t, All i wanted to do was hide under a duvet and cry. It was awful. With Samaritans, there was this realisation that you could phone them, and they wouldn’t judge you. They would let you express what you were going through and help you realize that it was okay the be having a bad time, even at Christmas.”

You can give the gift of listening with a donation to help ensure that Samaritans’ services are there for anyone who needs them this Christmas and every single day of the year. Anyone can contact Samaritans for free from any phone on 116 123. this number is free to call and will not show up on your phone bill. You can also visit your local branch where you can talk face to face to one of or trained volunteers.

Samaritans is a charity and its the public’s kind donations and more than 20,000 trained volunteers that mean we are always there for anyone struggling to cope. Your money or your time could save a life. Find out how you can support us: http://www.samaritans.org/support-us

Almost 11,000 volunteers across Ireland and the UK will deliver a staggering 123,000 hours over the Christmas period, including 1,176 volunteers in the Republic of Ireland giving 12,565 hours, And 482 volunteers in Northern Ireland giving 5,150 hours.

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