'100,000 calls' to Samaritans

There has been a huge rise in the number of calls to the Samaritans, reaching 100,000 in the past two years, the charity has said.

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Factfile: Sixty years of the Samaritans

Founded 60 years ago, the Samaritans offers a '999' service to potential suicides.

  • The charity was founded by Prebendary Dr Chad Varah CH CBE in 1953
  • Chad worked from his church of St Stephen Walbrook in the City of London, where he took his first call on 2nd November 1953, during a time when it was against the law to be homosexual or to die by suicide
  • The world's first 24-hour telephone helpline, it has grown to a service delivered by more than 20,000 volunteers across 201 branches today
  • Someone contacts the Samaritans every six seconds
  • More than 127,000 volunteers have answered over 115 million calls for help by telephone, email or text message
  • Samaritans volunteers also work with schools, hospitals, homeless shelters and prisons
  • The charity has a series of partnerships with Facebook, Google and Network Rail to reduce suicides and provides training to outside organisations

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