Suicide prevention charity raises its profile in the local community
Putney Samaritans is raising its profile across South West London as part of Samaritans’ national, month-long awareness-raising campaign, Talk to Us.
Every six seconds, someone in the UK and Ireland contacts Samaritans, and every 90 minutes in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, someone takes their own life. Samaritans aim to bring down the high numbers of suicides in the UK and the Republic of Ireland by encouraging people to talk through their concerns, worries and troubles.
“At Samaritans we believe that giving people a safe and confidential place to discuss what they’re going through helps to reduce suicidal thoughts and lower the number of suicides,” said Shona Synnott, Branch Director at Putney Samaritans. “However, people don’t have to be suicidal to call us. People can talk to us at any time about whatever’s getting to them – and raising awareness of this across our local community is an essential part of what we do.”
Putney Samaritans had a stall at the Roehampton Feel Good Festival, which took place last Sunday (3 July). They sold homemade cakes to fundraise for the branch, provided information on how Samaritans supports its callers and also gave out information to people interested in becoming a Samaritan volunteer. They also delighted at the response when they asked people to write how they were feeling on a card. These cards were then hung up around the stall – a sign of how keen people are to express themselves.
Samaritan volunteer Joanne, helped organise Putney branch’s involvement in the festival:
“My thanks go out to my fellow Samaritans who baked delicious cakes and biscuits for our stall at Roehampton. We sold almost everything and the whole day was a great success. There was a lovely atmosphere and great warmth was extended towards us from the people at the festival.”
Next Saturday (9 July ) Putney Samaritans will be at Barnes Fair, which runs from 9.30am to 5.30pm. Once again the team will be running a cake stall along with fun games for children – and of course they’ll be available to talk to anyone about the service they provide and what it takes to be a Samaritan volunteer. Do go along and see them at stall 257.
Finally, Putney Samaritans will be at Wimbledon Station on the afternoon of Sunday 17 July to talk with passengers and staff alike.
Shona explained that this was part of an ongoing partnership with National Rail that Putney branch is involved in:
“As part of the programme of outreach activities that we, and other branches nationally, are holding in July, Samaritans are raising awareness at local train stations. These events will support the theme 'The Power of Listening' something that is at the very heart of what Samaritans do.”
For anyone interested in volunteering as a Samaritans, Putney branch holds a monthly information event where you can find out more. Events are held at the branch at 14 Princeton Court, 53-55 Felsham Road, Putney SW15 1AZ. There's no need to book, just come along if you're interested in volunteering. Information events last about 2 hours.
Their next information events:
• Monday 18 July at 7.30pm (arrive 7.15pm for refreshments)
• Thursday 11 August at 7.30pm (arrive 7.15pm for refreshments)
• Monday 12 September at 7.30pm (arrive 7.15pm for refreshments)
July 7, 2016