Samaritans branch needs to raise £250,000 for new building

The Walsall Branch of the Samaritans needs £250,000 for a new building. The existing one is crumbling away.

Sharon Dicken, one of the volunteers, says raising a quarter of a million pounds sounds like a tall order, so she and the other volunteers have come up with a plan - to raise the money in thousand-pound chunks.

Getting 250 businesses, organisations or individuals to raise a thousand pounds each sounds more manageable, she says.

The Samaritans charity helps people in crisis. People who are facing any form of personal crisis can ring or email and talk to volunteers, in confidence, without fear of being judged.

The Walsall branch helps 10,000 people a year.

It costs between £15-18,000 a year to operate the service. That covers the bills - no staff costs, because they’re volunteers of course.

Crucially, the people ringing in who need help don’t pay for the telephone call, the charity does.

Overall with running costs, gas and electricity - and the telephones - the Walsall branch estimates that it costs £5 for every call that comes into the charity.

The charity’s existing building looks like more of a temporary structure with thin wood cladding - but that’s now peeling away.

It was put up 53 years ago - it’s showing its age - the charity says it’s time for a new one, so it can carry on helping those 10,000 people a year who may be in crisis.

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