Almost 40,000 calls for help were made by people in Sheffield to the Samaritans in 12 months, new figures have shown.
The charity’s 141 volunteers in the city took 38,755 calls for help during 2014 – more than 100 a day.
That was almost 6,000 calls more than in the previous 12 months, when around 33,000 calls were made to the charity in Sheffield.
The increase has been partly attributed to the use of improved technology to allow calls to be answered more efficiently.
Sandra Reeve, Sheffield branch director, said: “I’m so grateful to all of our volunteers at Sheffield. I want to thank them all for their commitment and hard work.”
Across the country more than five million calls were made to the charity, which has more than 21,000 volunteers and aims to provide emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide
The figures have been released to coincide with Volunteers’ Week, a national initiative that runs from yesterday until Sunday.
It celebrates the contribution made by millions of volunteers across the UK and is run by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.
Sheffield Samaritans is now appealing for more helpers at its branch, on Queens Road, Lowfield, to assist with taking calls from people struggling to cope with whatever life has thrown at them.
Branch volunteers are also involved in outreach activity, including attending events to publicise their work and giving talks to schools, groups and businesses.
People are needed to assist with manning the helpline, as well as administration and IT tasks.
Sandra said: “It’s great to see how our volunteers support people in ways that work well for our callers, on the phone, via email or visiting us in the branch.
“We know people who are struggling benefit from having a real person to connect with, someone who is trained to listen to them.
“Samaritans wouldn’t exist without the dedication of our volunteers.
“As well as listening on the helpline, there are lots of ways people can get involved with Samaritans, whether it’s fundraising, marketing, helping with admin or IT, or offering other valuable skills.
“We are always looking for new volunteers, so get in touch.”
Volunteers all do a minimum of 13 to 14 hours a month, which includes three shifts of three hours and an overnight shift of four or five hours.
The next information day about becoming a volunteer in Sheffield is being held on Wednesday, July 15, from 7pm.
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