Connecting Business – Growing Opportunities

Supporting Samaritans

Supporting Samaritans Ireland and Samaritans Scotland through our Causeway Virtual Awards.

This year our Causeway Awards chosen charity is Samaritans. Samaritans provides emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide, throughout Ireland and the UK. 

The Covid-19 crisis has made a profound impact on individual’s mental health and wellbeing, and this year the charity has been in demand more than ever.

With operations across Ireland and Scotland, it is our intention to split the funds raised from our Awards to Samaritans Ireland and Samaritans Scotland. We hope you can give generously to support this cause. DONATE HERE >

To tell us more about the valuable and vital work Samaritans undertake throughout the UK and Ireland, we had a chat with Mary Nee, Deputy Director of the Galway branch of Samaritans.

What does it mean for you for Samaritans to be this year’s chosen charity for the Causeway Awards?

It is particularly helpful to be nominated as this year’s chosen charity for the Causeway Awards, as like many charities this year, our scheduled awareness and fundraising events and activities for the year had to be been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In our branch of Galway Samaritans for example, we are all volunteers with no paid employee, so we rely on our fundraising activities each year to cover our bills. In our local Galway branch, we usually have two key annual fundraising events every year, however both have unfortunately been cancelled for 2020. 

Why is it so important that people help support Samaritans?

It is vital that people continue to support Samaritans. In the Galway branch, we receive 1,000 calls every week and in 2019 Samaritans Ireland answered over 500,000 calls. 

Samaritan volunteers go through intensive training, all carried out by volunteers. We are trained to listen to our callers and offer non-judgemental support. We help our callers explore how they are feeling and support them to find a way through their darkness. We explore suicidal feelings with all our callers.

20% of our callers are experiencing suicidal feelings, so 80% of our callers are struggling to cope with lots of different issues, e.g. living with a mental or physical illness, loneliness and isolation, relationship problems, addiction, emotional, physical and sexual abuse to name a few. Samaritans vision is that we can live in a society where fewer people die by suicide.

What are some of the ways people can get involved and help out?

There are lots of ways people can get involved with Samaritans. We are looking for people to volunteer for our listening service. We also need support volunteers to help with fundraising, marketing and raising awareness of the work we do.

What is the biggest challenge of working for a charity like Samaritans?

The biggest challenge we face in Samaritans is recruiting volunteers. For example, in the Galway branch, we have 110 listening volunteers. We have a 24/7 service - a free phone number and an email service. We recruit volunteers twice a year. We missed our spring recruitment due to Covid-19, and we are training now but can only train four volunteers with two trainers at a time to comply with Covid-19 restrictions. The next biggest challenge is raising funds to run our service.

What’s the most rewarding thing about volunteering with Samaritans?

It is a privilege to be a Samaritan volunteer and be there for people at a challenging time in their lives. I am constantly humbled by the bravery, honesty and courage of our callers. We help shine a light of hope for our callers during a dark time in their lives. It is hugely rewarding.

With operations across Ireland and Scotland, it is our intention to split the funds raised from our Awards to Samaritans Ireland and Samaritans Scotland. We hope you can give generously to support this cause. DONATE HERE >

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