Bury St Edmunds: Samaritans group which deals with 1,500 calls a month needs your help

Could you help someone in crisis?

Could you help someone in crisis? - Credit: PA

A BRANCH of the Samaritans charity which receives more than 1,500 calls a month urgently needs volunteers.

The Samaritans in Bury St Edmunds are looking for ‘support volunteers,’ which Nick Laughton, who is on the management committee, said were “much-needed” at the branch to keep it running.

Support volunteers, which is a recently-launched initiative, are needed to help with areas such as finance, administration, fundraising and IT.

The branch, in Well Street, also has just over 100 ‘listening volunteers,’ who take the calls, but Mr Laughton said they always needed more. He said in the past there had always been an adequate supply of people to do the support jobs, but now, as more volunteers also worked, it was unfair to expect them to have a listening and a support role.

“It’s not just the Bury St Edmunds branch where the profile (of volunteers) has changed, and we need, say, a small group of a dozen volunteers who can take these administration jobs off our hands, so the listening volunteers can concentrate on providing the service to the public,” he said.

The Bury branch received just over 20,000 calls last year, with 3,017 for November and December.

It supports the Samaritans across the region in being able to man the phones 24 hours a day.

Most Read

Callers are put through to an available branch if they cannot get through to the one in Bury.

Mr Laughton said: “We have to provide a minimum coverage for the region, otherwise we are not supporting the nation. We really have to make sure that rota is filled as much as possible.”

He said support volunteers would be fully trained and supported.

Anyone interested in volunteering should contact 01284 750000 or write to the branch at 46 Well Street, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP33 1EQ.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter