Samaritans appeals for more volunteers

The
Samaritans will tonight launch a campaign to recruit 2,000 new volunteers in
order to keep up with demand for its services.

Last
year the number of calls to the charity rose by 4 per cent but over the same period the number of
volunteers taking those calls fell
by 4 per cent to 18,700 volunteers compared with 19,500 last year.

Volunteer
numbers are now at their lowest since 1975, having fallen steadily since 1993
when the charity reached a peak of 22,500 volunteers.

"Volunteer
numbers have been falling for some years now, and we are going to reverse that
trend," said Simon
Armson, chief executive of The Samaritans.

According
to a recent NOP poll, more than half of adults have thought about volunteering
for a charity and 46 per cent have known someone who could have benefited from
talking to The Samaritans.

The
Samaritans takes more than
4.7 million calls a year from people in emotional distress.

Katie
Hawkins

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