Just over a week to go until the start of our online auction in support of the Central London Samaritans.
To inspire everyone to dig deep into their pockets, we wanted to tell you about the work this essential charity is doing to help people of all ages and backgrounds.
In 2014 alone, there were 6,122 registered deaths caused by suicide in the UK. And 17% of the UK population will experience suicidal thoughts at some time in their life.
Every year the 450 volunteers at Central London Samaritans take calls from around 100,000 people in emotional distress. They also support over 12,000 people by SMS, and over 4,000 people face-to-face.
Donations from businesses and private individuals make up over half their operating budget. In 2016/17 alone, they need to raise over £240,000. Without the generosity of the public, they simply could not operate.
“I joined Samaritans when I was considering graduate studies in genetic counselling. Since the day I started training to become a fully fledged member of the phone room team, I soon realised what an incredible charity Central London Samaritans are.
Their main work is to support people who are suicidal, always giving them the space and time to work out what they want without the judgement of others. And although we get many of these calls at CL Sams, the service helps people in so many other ways.
Loneliness is the biggest factor that stands out for most of us. In a city of 12 million people, London can be an incredibly lonely place, and it wasn’t until listening to people who can spend days or even weeks without speaking to another person that I came to realise how important it is to hear another voice, asking about your day.
My volunteering gives me a sense of grounding, at how my ‘bad day’ has really not been so bad after all.”
Full details of the auction, including how to bid, can be found here.