Volunteer your time in Banbury to help charity

Davina Birkbeck, branch director for Banbury Samaritans NNL-140809-174148001
Davina Birkbeck, branch director for Banbury Samaritans NNL-140809-174148001

Samaritans mark the finale of their summer publicity campaign with a call for new fund-raising volunteers to support those who deliver their vital listening service in and around Banbury.

The 65-strong hard-working team at Banbury & District Samaritans, based in Albert Street, have been staging a summer of fund-raising and recruitment events.

It costs a minimum of £30,000 per year to run the branch, which is now entering its 50th year and covers a wide area including Buckingham, Brackley, Bicester, Towcester, Daventry, Shipston-on-Stour and Chipping Norton.

Davina Birkbeck, branch director, said: “We offer emotional support in person, by phone, by email and by text and, on average, we help around 20,000 people a year.

“Everyone’s different – what one person can cope with can easily overwhelm someone else. The work we do is so necessary and rewarding – but costs money to run.

“Ideally, we need 80 volunteers at our branch, drawn from across our region. And what we need most, right now, along with more listening volunteers, are people who are keen to donate some of their time to help us raise funds and publicise. They don’t have to be Listeners as well – but, without this crucial support team, the rest of us can’t function.”

New research reveals that more than one in three people avoid sharing problems for fear of being a burden. And one in five of us sometimes feels overwhelemed by our troubles.

Samaritans have more than 200 branches and are available round the clock, every single day of the year.

It provides a safe place for anyone struggling to cope, whoever they are, however they are feeling and whatever life has done to them. They don’t have to be feeling suicidal to call.

In 2014, more than 21,000 Samaritans responded to more than 5.3 milion calls for help in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

Throughout the month Samaritan volunteers up and down the country have been staging events to raise awareness of the services they provide in their local communities.

For more information on volunteer roles at Banbury & District Samaritan information days, email banbury@samaritans.org or phone Ruth Brown on 07473 581379.