Raising a glass to help fund Banbury Samaritans

Banbury Samaritans 33 Albert Street NNL-160718-105315001

Banbury Samaritans 33 Albert Street NNL-160718-105315001

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Hook Norton Beer Festival organisers presented a cheque to Banbury Samaritans last month, helping the charity continue its critical work.

A cheque for £500 was presented to Banbury and District Samaritans director Davina Birkbeck by Peter Skelton and will be used towards the running costs of the phone and support services offered by the branch.

Peter Skelton and Samaritans director Davina Birkbeck NNL-160812-173115001

Peter Skelton and Samaritans director Davina Birkbeck NNL-160812-173115001

The Samaritans have been a part of the Banbury community for the last 42 years, quietly saving lives from its headquarters on Albert Street.

Although run completely on a volunteer basis with no paid staff, it costs £30,000 a year to maintain the premises, provide the one-on-one consultations and phone support services to its users.

Ms Birkbeck said: “I am so delighted to receive this donation. This is entirely dependent on donations, so we are very grateful for this boost to our funds.”

Suicide is the leading cause of death for men under 50 years of age and every six seconds someone calls, texts or walks into a Samaritans centre across the UK.

Services are provided night and day and offer a outlet for people who feel they have nowhere else to turn.

Ms Birkbeck added: “What we do is very simple but it also looks after a fundamental human need, we provide somewhere to talk, we listen.

“People don’t have to be suicidal to talk to us – most people aren’t – and we don’t tell people what to do, but we do give them a safe place to talk openly and in confidence about how they are feeling, which they may struggle to do with friends or family.

She added: “So today you have helped to provide us with the wherewithal to continue to be there, night and day, for anyone who needs to talk. Thank you.”