Almost 30 people a day in Craigavon contact Samaritans for help

Samaritans volunteers are pictured with Criagavon Samaritans Director, Karen Mcllvenna.

Samaritans volunteers are pictured with Criagavon Samaritans Director, Karen Mcllvenna.

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Almost 30 people a day are contacting the Samaritans in Craigavon, it has been revealed.

Last year alone 10,000 people contacted the charity which aims to help those who are suicidal and in despair.

The charity is eager to recruit new volunteers to help those who are in dire need of someone to talk to.

The team are fully committed to supporting their callers, responding to anyone who is in distress, struggling to cope or at risk of suicide.

Karen McIlvenna, Director of the Craigavon Samaritans, is leading a recruitment drive to encourage new volunteers to join the ranks and get involved with helping those who need it most.

Karen explained: “We have been operating in Craigavon for over 40 years and we rely on our faithful volunteers to keep our service operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

“Due to the nature of the job, volunteers naturally move on, meaning we are always recruiting and on the lookout for anyone who is willing to come on board and help make a real difference to our callers’ lives.”

More than 6,000 people die from suicide in the UK every year and it’s because of these statistics that Samaritans need to keep their volunteer numbers up. People from all backgrounds are invited to sign up and no qualifications are required, as all volunteers participate in a 10 week raining course - during which trainees are mentored by experiences volunteers and given practical training.

Lurgan volunteer, Sean McClean, shared: “Being there for someone when they need it most is a huge privilege. Some of our callers are the most inspirational people you are ever likely to speak to. It is so gratifying when a caller says, “Thank you for listening. No-one has ever listened before.”

“Being part of a team of people who genunely care, and who volunteer their time and effort to help others, is one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had.”

Anyone can suffer from depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses, and need a listening ear.

For more information about the charity or to volunteer with the Samaritans, visit www.samaritans.org