to lean on for 50 years straight
What kind of person would be a Samaritan? Who would want to spend their free time listening to people talk about their depression, losing their jobs, losing their loved ones, losing their sanity?
Luckily, lots of people would.
Samaritans is an organisation full of surprising people - and the surprise is how normal they all are. Seems like a lot of people expect to see psychologists, chin scratchers, people with Freud beards, tweed jackets, suede shoes. In fact, a meeting at Ealing, Hounslow and Hammersmith Samaritans will be full of the sort of people you see in your supermarket or on the Tube. They aren't heroes. They aren't gurus. They're all ages, all professions, with just one thing in common: they know how to listen.
And last weekend they all came together to celebrate. Fifty years is a big deal. It's nice to think that they've been providing such an important service to the community for that long. Any excuse to celebrate is nice… and what better excuse than their golden jubilee!
Ealing, Hammersmith and Hounslow Samaritans receives generous donations from the community and local businesses in order to keep the branch in operation. Quaker Oats, Waitrose and Hasbro all donated raffle prizes for the night.
Held at Ealing Cricket Club, the night was a big success and both the Mayor of Ealing, Ian Potts, and Stephen Pound MP joined in the celebrations and thanked the volunteers for their contribution to the community. Jack Gratus, Chairman of the Ealing Branch said "Our 50th birthday year is about more than just celebrating the achievements so far, we want to look forward to our future. In a society where suicide is still one of the biggest killers, particularly of young people, we will be looking closely at how we respond to the changing needs of people in emotional distress over the next 50 years and beyond."
If you would like to become a volunteer please contact the Ealing branch on 0208 560 2345
If you would like to get involved in fundraising or would like to make a donation please contact us on 0208 560 2345 or write to Simon Turner at 26 Junction Road, London, W5 4XL.
18 Aug 2004
Comment on this story on the