Volunteers to provide a listening ear to Fifers in need this festive season

As tinsel and fairy lights adorn the streets up and down the country, it can be easy to overlook how the festive season can be the hardest time of the year for some.
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But volunteers at Kirkcaldy Samaritans will be working throughout the holiday to make sure there’s someone there to listen for anyone who is struggling.

June Race, director of Kirkcaldy Samaritans, said in the past 12 months, Kirkcaldy volunteers have supported 7,228 callers by phone and responded to 1,479 emails.

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She said volunteers will be there to listen to anyone needing support during the holidays, adding: “Kirkcaldy Samaritans continue to run shifts and support callers over Christmas and the New Year.

Kirkcaldy Samaritans will continue to run shifts and support callers over this Christmas and the New Year.Kirkcaldy Samaritans will continue to run shifts and support callers over this Christmas and the New Year.
Kirkcaldy Samaritans will continue to run shifts and support callers over this Christmas and the New Year.

"We recognise that the festive season is not so festive for many who are in difficult circumstances and never forget that the pandemic has brought the sadness of loss, and the uncertainty of unemployment to people in our local area.

“We are, as ever, grateful to our supporters who help to keep the branch running and the lights burning.”

Ms Race added: “We hope for better things for everyone in 2022, but in the meantime those who are struggling do not have to be alone with their despair at this time. We are here to listen.”

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Her comments follow Samaritans Scotland launching its Christmas campaign as new figures from the charity’s 24-hour helpline reveal that caller concerns about family have risen for the fifth year in a row.

Anyone needing help can call Samaritans free, 24 hours a day on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org, day or night.Anyone needing help can call Samaritans free, 24 hours a day on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org, day or night.
Anyone needing help can call Samaritans free, 24 hours a day on 116 123 or email [email protected], day or night.

Family worries have made up 34 per cent of emotional support contacts this year with the charity across the UK and Republic of Ireland – a 26 per cent increase (7 percentage points) over the past five years.

Mental health/illness is holding steady as the top overall concern at 46 per cent, with isolation and loneliness ranking third at 28 per cent, and relationship problems following on 24 per cent.

Samaritans helpline expects to respond to more than 250,000 calls for help this festive season from people across the UK and Republic of Ireland.

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And after another difficult year, with people across the country continuing to feel the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Samaritans Scotland is calling on the public to help ensure its volunteers can continue to be there to listen this Christmas and all year round.

Rachel Cackett, executive director of Samaritans Scotland, said: “This Christmas Day volunteers at branches across Scotland will once again be giving up their time to help make sure that no one has to face the holiday season alone.

“At a time of year when loneliness can hit hard and other services may not be available, being there to listen is one of the greatest gifts any of us can give.

"But our volunteers are only able to do this vital work thanks to donations from people like you. A donation of just £5 could help to cover the cost of a life-saving call and help us change someone’s story this Christmas.

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“And for anyone who is struggling this festive season, we’ll be here to listen on Christmas Day and every day.”

Anyone needing help can call Samaritans free, 24 hours a day on 116 123 or email [email protected], day or night.

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