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Samaritans appeal for more volunteers

In Cumbria, last year around 50 people took their own lives.

That's more than nine suicides for every hundred thousand people and is higher than the national average, which is below eight people per hundred thousand.

Last year The Samaritans saw a 10 per cent increase in calls to its Cumbrian branches, they're now appealing for people to come forward and take calls from those in distress.

Pam Royle spoke to Grahame Pinches from the Whitehaven branch of The Samaritans and began by asking him how important is it for new volunteers to come forward.

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Volunteers needed for World Curling Championships

The organisers of the 2014 World Mixed Doubles and World Senior Curling Championships are looking for volunteers.

A volunteer open day is being held at Dumfries Ice Bowl, which is where the championships are being held in April next year.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for locals to be involved in a World Championship Event.

"There is a whole range of roles that need to be filled both before and during the event. As a curler it will be a great week to be involved with!"

– David Owen Committee Vice Chair

The open day will provide opportunities for volunteer to sign up for a variety of roles, which will help the team to deliver a successful event.

Roles include everything from player liaison to transportation and stats recording to ice preparation.

Borderers urged 'to be part of 2014 Games'

Borders MP Michael Moore Credit: ITV Border

People in the Scottish Borders are being urged to take part in the 2014 Commonwealth Games, by signing up as a volunteer.

Borders MP Michael Moore is aiming to drum up volunteers for the Games, which are being held in Glasgow.

Around 15,000 volunteers are needed to help assist with the delivery of Games, and Mr Moore is hoping the response will be as good as it was for London 2012.

He said:

“Everyone agreed that it was the volunteer Games makers that made the Olympics so successful last summer.

“Here in Scotland in 2014 we have the opportunity to get involved in another fantastic, global sporting event and again, it will be the volunteers that really make the Games happen.

“I want to encourage Borderers to consider getting involved by signing up to be a volunteer. The deadline closes on 28th February so you need to be quick!”

If the traget of volunteers is met, it will be the biggest peace-time deployment of volunteers for a common cause in Scottish history.

Prospective Glasgow 2014 volunteers have until 28th February to apply for a Games role.

You can sign up by clicking here.

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Hundreds head to Glenridding

Volunteers briefed before heading out Credit: ITV Border

Hundreds of volunteers from across Cumbria are in and around Glenridding today clearing up the landscape.

Using every transport available including canoes, Ullswater ferries, cars and foot they are litter picking, clearing drains and fixing footpaths and walls.

Children from Patterdale Primary School are also involved building bird boxes and hides to watch red squirrels.

Canoeists get ready to leave for their litter picking mission on Ullswater Credit: ITV Border
Getting the litter pickers on board. Credit: ITV Border

Fell care day

More than 19 organisations including two schools and 80 volunteers are taking part in a fell care day in and around Ullswater.

They will undertake a number of activities to make the fells a better place for everyone. Dry stone walling, footpath repair work, lakeshore litter pick on foot and by canoe and clearing gorse and drains on a walks.

The school children will be planting bulbs, coppicing, stream dipping and make bat and bird boxes and creating a squirrel hide out of willow.

Sue Manson, Flora of the Fells Project officer said:

"The Fell Care Day promises to be a great day in celebration of the Lake District Fells, all the benefits they provide and the immense volunteer effort that goes into helping to conserve them.

"The Fell Care Days are a great chance to get fit and do something fulfilling in an amazing setting. We've got volunteers of all ages coming along and it's not too late to join in what promises to be a really good day."

– Sue Mason

Air Ambulance: Volunteers needed

Pride of Cumbria Air Ambulance Credit: ITV Border

Volunteers are needed to help keep the only air ambulance based in Cumbria flying. The Great North Air Ambulance Service, which operates the Pride of Cumbria aircraft from its base at Langwathby, near Penrith, is hoping to attract new volunteers to bolster its fundraising effort.

The Pride of Cumbria costs about £1.3m to run every year, and as it does not receive Government or National Lottery funding, it is entirely dependent on the generosity of the public.

GNAAS has a good team of volunteers in the county already, but says more are needed to safeguard the future of the Cumbrian helicopter, which last year flew on 444 missions. It wants to avoid the scenario of 2005, when the helicopter was grounded due to lack of funds.

Janet Hume, who coordinates volunteers at GNAAS, said: "We are immensely grateful for our existing volunteers who do an incredible job in spreading the word and helping out where needed.

"We would like to invite residents of the region to join our ranks, and to use whatever spare time they may have to make a difference to this charity which is dedicated to them. There are a range of different opportunities and we can offer all our volunteers a rewarding experience."

There will be an open day for volunteers on Saturday, June 16th at West Cumbria Trades Hall

National Park volunteers wanted

Coniston in the Lakes Credit: ITV Border

Outdoor enthusiasts, who are passionate about looking after the Lake District, are needed to add to the current “army” of volunteers who supplement the outdoor work of the national park.

The Lake District National Park currently has more than 400 volunteers undertaking a range of tasks, it is currently recruiting for up to 12 new Countryside Volunteers and five specific lake volunteers for Bassenthwaite Nature Reserve.

The roles will include a range of tasks such as vegetation clearance, surveys, patrols, work parties and property checks. At Bassenthwaite volunteers will be working pro-actively with lake recreational users, checking permits, offering advice, answering questions and being a visible LDNPA presence.

Chris Tomlin, Park Management Leader North said:

"This is a great opportunity to learn new skills, meet other people and help look after this wonderful national park.

"The roles are open to anyone and will particularly suit individuals who enjoy being outside doing physical tasks and are prepared to be ambassadors for the National Park.

"No experience is necessary but a reasonable level of strength and fitness would be desirable for these very practical volunteering opportunities"

"You will initially work alongside our Park Management staff and other volunteers and will have access to a thorough induction and training programme including courses on first aid, dealing with the public, rights of way, plus any specialist practical training that is required. "

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