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Ealing, Hammersmith & Hounslow Samaritans celebrate 50 years with an open house at its South Ealing headquarters

Ealing, Hammersmith & Hounslow Samaritans celebrated its 50th anniversary with an open house last Saturday (25 September 2022) for neighbours of its South Ealing headquarters.

Heena Johnson, the 17th director of the Samaritans branch said: “We thought it well past time to meet the neighbours, and what better reason than a 50th birthday.”

Visitors were shown around the branch offices, including the operations room where 120 Ealing, Hammersmith & Hounslow volunteers deliver their confidential phone service.

Ealing, Hammersmith & Hounslow Samaritans opened on Friday 21st January 1972 when the founding members took their first phone calls.

Over these 50 years, 2,242 volunteers from Ealing, Hammersmith & Hounslow have been trained in offering emotional support to people.

According to the group, more than one million phone calls have also been received since 1972.

For the first 15 years, the west London Samaritans was based in the basement of the church hall of the former Broadway Methodist Church. In 1987 the branch moved to its present home, a former Fullers off-licence at 26 Junction Road, South Ealing.

As well as manning the phones and running an email support service, the Branch participates in the Rail Industry Suicide prevention programme which aims to reduce suicide on the railways and to support everyone affected by them.

It also runs the Listener Scheme at Wormwood Scrubs prison where a group of prisoners is selected and trained to offer emotional support to other prisoners who are experiencing feelings of distress.

A spokesman said that in order to continue running its services, it relies on the public for financial help. “All Samaritans branches are individual charities run entirely by volunteers and Ealing, Hammersmith & Hounslow Samaritans (registered charity number 1173588) can only continue to support those in despair and distress thanks to donations, legacies and fundraising by the Branch.”

For anyone needed support, you can contact Samaritans for FREE any time from any phone on 116 123. The number doesn’t show up on any phone bill. Or you can email jo@samaritans.org

 

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