Speaker Meeting 21st May 2018

The Samaritans - Ian and Matt

President Adrian Perkins of the Church Wilne Rotary Club welcomed Matt and Ian from the Samaritans in Derby to their speaker meeting on Monday 21st May at the Royal Oak in Ockbrook.

Matt said that the Samaritans were formed in 1953 by Chad Varah, a Vicar in the Church of England Diocese of London. Currently they have 201 branches and over 21,000 volunteers. Last year 5.7 millions calls were taken and every 11 seconds someone will make contact with the Samaritans.

The Derby branch was the 7th to open over 50 years ago and can be located at 110 Burton Road. Matt, who is the branch director said "It is a special place and organisation where they also recruit, train and hope to keep their volunteers". They are a self enclosed charity and raise there own money, do their own recruitment and try to be open 24 hours a day. They currently have 75 volunteers but really need 100 to enable their phones to be available 24/7. When they are not available the calls are automatically transferred to another branch.

At the Start of The Samaritans

The volunteers are trained to listen, support and are non judgemental. It may be the caller is near to taking their own life or just need to talk over their current situation with someone. The biggest suicide rate is men under the age of 40.

Ian continued by saying, when joining the volunteers are trained professionally and attend every month an information evening. The training period takes over 12 weeks and you are then mentored for a 3 month period. The Volunteers are never alone and work closely with their buddy.

The Samaritans now communicate via texts and emails. They have recently built up a relationship with Network Rail and on the Derby Station there is a sign saying the Samaritans and Network Rail work together. Network Rail personnel are given training on how to spot a potential problem and are trained to approach and talk to anyone who they maybe are able to help.

The Samaritans are here to listen.

Volunteers usually help for 15 hours a month with shifts of 2 to 3 hours and this includes one overnight from midnight until 4 am.

The Derby branch is self funded and they need to raise around £36,000 a year which is about £100 a day.

The contact telephone of the Derby Samaritans is 01332 364444.

The club's vote of thanks was given by President Adrian who, in thanking Matt and Ian said "It is certainly something we need to know about and we hope to help in some way in the future".

For more information on Rotary, our speaker evenings, events and the main activities organised by our club please contact our Secretary, Mick White at: rccw1220@gmail.com

Ray Terry
For the Rotary Club of Church Wilne

23rd April 2018


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