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Our Charity of the Year
Bath Samaritans enable people in Bath and the surrounding area who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair; including those who may be at risk of suicide, to receive confidential emotional support at any time of the day or night in order to improve their emotional health and to reduce the incidence of suicide.
The demand for the service continues to rise and in 2014, the volunteers received some 35,900 contacts from members of the community which were by phone, email, text or face to face. In 2015 it rose to over 45,000.
It costs approximately £500 to recruit, select and train a new Samaritan volunteer and the charity is continuously seeking support to continue to deliver this vital service.
At a national level Samaritans comprise some 201 branches and 20,000 volunteers but each branch is an independent, self-financing charity in its own right. As an all-volunteer branch (including the Director and Deputy Directors), Bath Samaritans do not receive any central funding and must raise £50,000 a year to run the branch and train the dedicated team of about 120 volunteers to help deliver support to those in need 24/7, 365 days a year. They reach out to as many people as they can and publicise their services through local events and the media so that those who are despairing can reach the charity easily.
During the past year they have continued to support HMP Leyhill and they have worked with Network Rail and local stations to address the risk of suicide on the railways. They work in partnership with the RUH’s A&E department supporting around 800 patients, family and friends a year through their weekly outreach sessions.
David Ryder, Director of Bath Samaritans, said:
“People struggling to cope contact us every few minutes in Bath. Someone is there for you around the clock to listen to what’s troubling you even if life seems too difficult to go on. You will speak to a volunteer who is just an ordinary person caring about what you’re going through. We don’t judge and we won’t tell - we just listen.
You’ll also see us each Monday evening in the Emergency Department at RUH talking to patients and their families. Or perhaps when we visit local schools or at Leyhill Open Prison.
If you would like to get involved you can come along to one of our information evenings and find out more about volunteering with us. There are lots of ways to help and we always welcome new Samaritans.
Perhaps your group or organisation would like us to visit and tell you about Samaritans and what we do. Or you may be thinking of making a donation. We rely on the generosity of our donors to keep our phone lines open.
Whatever’s on your mind - do contact us."