Samaritans in Burnley and Pendle are turning what’s become known as ‘Blue Monday’ today (January 18th) into ‘Happy Monday’, by encouraging people to become volunteers.
Cold weather, together with broken resolutions and post-Christmas credit card bills, have seen the day called the most depressing of the New Year. But, there’s no real science behind it and now Samaritans is also giving the idea the boot in favour of a more positive New Year message.
Ian Hartley, director of the Samaritans of Pendle, Burnley, Craven and Rossendale,said: “A new year is a great time to reflect on what you can give, and there’s no better way to do that than to volunteer.
“At Samaritans we have a range of roles to suit people with different skills, from becoming a listening volunteer, helping with admin, fundraising or our IT. If you’re interested in volunteering in the community and at events, we have exciting roles, too. Our volunteers are people from all ages and backgrounds and not only do we offer expert training and support, there are plenty of social activities, too.”
Every 90 minutes, someone in the UK or Ireland dies by suicide, but you don’t have to feel suicidal to call, email or text. Samaritans is there for anyone who needs to talk, in confidence, about whatever’s getting to them. Its 21,000 volunteers respond to more than 5.3 million calls for help every year and in 2016 the charity is expecting to reach out to more people than ever.
One volunteer said: “Finding out about volunteering with Samaritans is one of the best things I’ve done. You’re all part of a team and the training is thorough and really interesting. You’re never on your own – we all have a mentor and ongoing training too. For me, it’s been an opportunity for personal development too - you discover things about yourself as well as gaining new skills. And being there just to listen to people who feel they have no one else to turn to is such an important thing to do. I feel I get just as much out of my volunteering with Samaritans as I put in.”
You don’t have to be suicidal to call Samaritans. Whatever you’re going through, call us for free any time, from any phone, on 116 123 (this number will not appear on your bill), email email@example.com, or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of your nearest branch.
There’s also an information evening at the branch in Market Square, Nelson, on Wednesday, January 20th, at 7pm, where you can find out more. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring the recruitment line on 07514421658 to find out more.