The Duke and Duchess of Devonshire have officially opened a new state-of-the-art base for the Chesterfield Samaritans group.
The charity moved to new offices at 121 Saltergate earlier this year after being located at Rose Hill for four decades.
The new, bigger base – which is near Chesterfield FC’s old stadium – is in a more prominent location and is disabled-friendly.
Last year, the charity’s 40 big-hearted volunteers – more commonly known as listeners – handled almost 30,000 calls from individuals in need of confidential emotional support, up from about 23,000 in 2013.
These calls included people experiencing relationship problems and employment issues as well as those in distress and on the brink of suicide.
The Duchess, who is a new patron of Chesterfield Samaritans, said the new building will be a big improvement for volunteers and those who use the charity’s services.
She added: “Chesterfield Samaritans have had a strong presence in the town since the 1970s, supporting the local community and providing a safe place to talk for anyone who is struggling to cope.
“I am delighted to see this building open and ready for use.”
Peter Needham, Samaritans’ regional director for the East Midlands, said the move had been successful thanks to the generous support of a number of people.
He added: “I am grateful to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire and everyone who has helped bring Samaritans’ volunteers to such a key location in the town.
“Our services are available round-the-clock, every single day of the year and it’s important that people know where we are and how to contact us.
“This is a valuable investment in our volunteers and their training, as well as providing a welcoming place for anyone who needs to talk about whatever’s bothering them.”
• Find out more about volunteering for the Samaritans by calling 08705 627282 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
• If you need someone to speak to in confidence, call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 or email email@example.com