Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 8°C


Suffolk: Fundraising day boosts Samaritans as new figures show the branch in Ipswich and East Suffolk received 30,000 calls last year

16:00 21 June 2014

The Samaritans

The Samaritans


Samaritans volunteers in Ipswich and East Suffolk have urged people to get behind the organisation as it emerged nearly 30,000 calls were made to the branch last year.


For confidential advice and support, call the Samaritans on 08457 909090.

The figure was revealed ahead of today’s national awareness raising event, Phone Free Friday, which saw people turn off their mobiles for a day in support of the charity, which helps people in distress.

In East Anglia, there was a total of 419,000 calls made to the Samaritans last year, a figure which officials say shows how vital it is that they continue to boost their profile with those kind of fundraisers.

Sue Leeming, Ipswich and East Suffolk’s branch director, said: “This is to raise awareness and to highlight the fact that we need that money to fund the phones for people that are both distressed and suicidal.

“It is a strange thing to do but it is very meaningful to us.

“All the money goes to fund our services nationally and fund the branches to be able to answer more and more of those calls.

We answer email and SMS as well so it is also money to help us do that.”

With more ways to communicate with other people than ever before, the Samaritans say that a simple phone call is still the most used method by people wanting to get in touch with them.

Sue believes the opportunity to talk through their problems with a volunteer, and know they will be listened to, is one of the major reasons behind that.

Sue added: “We change as much as possible so we can be relevant and can be available for people who want to contact us.

“I think that people are so aware that we are there, the voice at the end of the phone, ready to listen to whatever they have got to tell us.

“It is really important that people get behind us and do this sort of thing (Phone Free Friday). Even if people at the moment feel they won’t need to ring or email, they might do in the future and this kind of support will help to make sure we are there for them.”

Catherine Johnstone, Samaritans CEO, said: “Our volunteers answer more than 5 million calls for help every year, and we need to make sure we continue to be there for anyone struggling to cope.”

A disqualified motorist banned for a drink-drive related offence was caught driving again while nearly four-and-a-half times the limit within two hours of his conviction.

Hundreds of youngsters braved the cold October temperatures to celebrate all things autumn at the Holywells Park Apple Day.

A Suffolk-based charity auction which has attracted bids from all over the world and raised more than £870,000 since its inception is aiming to break the £1million mark for national and local charities this year.

The A12 is now running smoothly after severe traffic delays earlier at Feering, Essex, caused by a two-car crash.

Suffolk police officers have been called to a clown sighting in Haughley, near Stowmarket this afternoon.

Fight or flight is fascinating, writes Ellen Widdup.

Some stores display a polite notice next to initial merchandise asking shoppers not to rearrange the items to create rude words.

Detectives have said they have not given up in their quest to find the body of alleged Suffolk double murder victim Sylvia Stuart.

Although I’m a fan of the show Spamalot - I went to see the touring production at the Regent five years ago - I have to admit I only wanted to see the Company of Four’s version as my cousin Jo is in it (very good as a sweary minstrel, I have to say!)

A Kesgrave man accused of attempting to rape a schoolgirl has been cleared by a jury.

Most read

Most commented


Show Job Lists

Topic pages


Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24