Samaritans branch marks 60th anniversary with volunteer appeal

The Northalerton and Dales Samaritans office.

The Northallerton and the Dales Samaritans branch is marking its 60th anniversary with an appeal for more volunteers to come forward.

The branch is running a campaign to recruit and train more local volunteers, particularly those who are able to help man the phones for a three-hour shift between 10pm and 6am.

Branch director Debbie Lynch said the branch was looking for “night owls” who may find it more convenient to do their volunteering during the early hours of the morning.

“During the night-time hours Samaritans is often the only service available for people who really need some support.

“It is so important that we are there as it is often in the middle of the night that people find their problems and worries most overwhelming.

“We are calling this campaign ‘help us light up the night’ and hope to recruit more volunteers to help us achieve the Samaritans’ vision that fewer people die by suicide.”

The Northallerton branch of Samaritans has 50 volunteers who every week help the branch deliver 120 hours of listening support on the phone.

All volunteers receive training and ongoing support and the charity said that many friendships have been forged among the volunteers who support each other during a shift.

Current volunteers travel from surrounding towns and villages as far as Stokesley, Helmsley, Thirsk, Leyburn and Richmond, as well as those living within Northallerton.

If you think you could be a good listener and would be happy to volunteer during the night please visit the Northallerton and the Dales Samaritans website where you can learn more and complete an online application form.

Look out for more events from Northallerton Samaritans throughout the year to celebrate their 60th Anniversary.