City Samaritans thanked for 50 years of service

Sheffield Samaritans will be thanked next week for 50 years of service to the city.

They will be guests of the Lord Mayor John Campbell at the town hall next Wednesday.

Starting with a handful of volunteers and two phone lines, they have built up their network to provide confidential support to people in distress and despair, including those with suicidal feelings.

Numbers of volunteers have dropped to around 120 compared with 200 in the 1980s, but there is still a 24-hour operation, now based at Queens Road.

Director Andrea Day said the branch was still going strong after 50 years “with volunteers each willing to offer at least 13 hours a month to respond to people who contact us because they are distressed and who may even be feeling suicidal.

“With all the problems facing individuals and families in these difficult times it is very important that people have the option to contact us anonymously and in total confidence without the risk of being judged.”