Two members of the Pembrokeshire branch of The Samaritans. Helen Williams and Sue Oldreive spoke about the work Samaritans do locally and throughout the UK and ROI to Club members last week. Each year in Wales some 360 people die by suicide; this is around 3 times the number killed in road accidents. Men are three times more likely than women to die by suicide. Suicide is also, tragically, the biggest killer of young people aged 20-34. Suicide is not equal— if you are less well-off and male you are 10 times more likely to die by suicide than more well-off men. For some, Helen explained, suicide can seem like the only option. It’s a complex issue. Behind the statistics are individuals, each with their own unique story. Every suicide has a devastating impact on the person’s family, friends, colleagues and community. By providing emotional support, Samaritans volunteers are making an important contribution to suicide prevention.
Helen and Sue were keen to emphasise that The Samaritans call lines and email service are not only for people who feel suicidal. 24/7, 365 days of the year. Samaritans are there for anyone who is feeling down and needs to talk and Samaritans also work in their community offering third sector information days, army liaison events, support to schools and colleges, and coffee mornings.
They emphasised that The Samaritans is run almost entirely by volunteers. As well as Listening Volunteers, Branch members run all their administration including the work of the Treasurer. Pembrokeshire are currently recruiting for new volunteers who will receive free training, which is highly thought of both within and outside the organisation.
Visit www.samaritans.org/wales/support-us/volunteer/ to find out more.
Helen and Sue were thanked by President Gavin Lloyd for giving up their time and giving such and interesting and informative insight into the work of the Samaritans. The evening had been arranged by Rotarian Malcolm Lowless.