30th September 2020 | Covid-19

Listening volunteers “There for Everyone” 24/7 – Lord-Lieutenant zooms into Guildford Samaritans AGM

Michael More-Molyneux joined over 70 listening volunteers and his two fellow Patrons for the Guildford Samaritans’ AGM via Zoom on 30th September. The meeting heard how the dedicated branch kept this vital service going 24/7 through Lockdown, except for one 24-hour period when it closed for a deep clean! Although over 50 listening volunteers had to self isolate, Samaritans was designated as an essential service so others could travel to the branch to do extra shifts and stepped in at short notice so there was always someone for callers to talk to. One in three of those calling Samaritans wanted to talk about coronavirus and the impact it is having on them.

“We’ve had more volunteers, more shifts, more calls than before,” the Director told the AGM, adding: “Guildford branch is a very strong and mutually supportive family of volunteers who feel valued for whatever contribution they bring to the cause.” Strict social distancing and hygiene measures remain in place at the branch, with face-to-face visits and outreach activity still suspended – although Samaritans from Guildford have supported the teams of Listeners in HMP Send and Coldingley remotely over the past months. Essential recruitment and training is happening virtually by Zoom and, since the charity’s shop in Godalming reopened in mid June, sales and donations have been excellent.

Long Service Awards were presented remotely during the meeting, which ended with the outgoing national Chair of Samaritans, Jenni McCartney, reflecting on the triumphs and challenges of her six-year role at “the fourth emergency service”. She spoke of the recent launch of Webchat to connect with more young people – suicide is the biggest killer of those aged 20-34 and online chat could change everything.

“Critical, demanding work and a really outstanding charity – proud to be a Patron” tweeted the Lord-Lieutenant. 


Related News Stories

news image-4815
Lieutenancy Certificates of Appreciation presented in Godalming

On behalf of the Lieutenancy, Deputy Lieutenant, Commander Susan Lochner JP RN presented Lieutenancy Certificates of Appreciation to Acorn, Cook, […]

View More
news image-4774
Lieutenancy Certificate of Appreciation presented to Sainsburys in Staines

On Tuesday 21st December, on behalf of the Lieutenancy, Deputy Lieutenant Nick Wood-Dow presented Sainsburys in Staines with a Lieutenancy […]

View More
news image-4765
Lieutenancy Certificate of Appreciation presented to the team at Epsom and Ewell Scout Shop in Stoneleigh

On the 13th December Deputy Lieutenant, Martin Gerrard QPM presented a Lieutenancy Certificate of Appreciation to the team at Epsom […]

View More