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Sheffield Samaritans Charity raises awareness of Talk to Us emotional support service

"Lockdown restrictions have had a huge impact on everyday life for many people," says Sheffield branch.

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Since lockdown began in March, Samaritans volunteers have reported that one in three callers talk about coronavirus, with many feeling more anxious and distressed than before the pandemic.

Volunteer surveys which gathered over 3,000 responses also found that the most common concerns related to coronavirus are around loneliness, isolation, mental health and illness, family, finances and unemployment.

"Our volunteers have been working day and night to be there for anyone who is struggling in these uncertain and challenging times," Sally, branch director at Sheffield Samaritans, said.

"Lockdown restrictions have had a huge impact on everyday life for many people, as we've been hearing over the past few months, and our volunteers have been a much-needed source of support for those whose networks haven't been available during the pandemic.

"Our outreach work and fundraising activity remains on hold until further notice, but we hope that the public can continue to support us in any way they can. We have recently reopened our charity shop which is essential in raising the funds that enable us to support people who are struggling to cope. By shopping there, the people of Sheffield can help us to continue to be there for anyone in need of support."

Sheffield Samaritans is encouraging the local community to show their support by visiting their charity shop which has now reopened in line with government directions.

Located at 45 Chapel Walk in the city centre, the shop is open from 10am-4pm, Monday to Friday. The team have been working hard over the last few weeks to ensure that they can reopen safely, with the wellbeing of customers and volunteers being prioritised.

Samaritans is also marking 24 July (24/7) across the UK and Ireland as one of the most important days in the organisation's charity's calendar, which it uses to help spread the message that volunteers are available to listen to anyone who is struggling - day or night, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Anyone can contact Samaritans for free anytime from any phone on 116 123, even a mobile without credit, or email [email protected].

For more information on how to get involved, visit their website or join in the conversation on social media using #TalkToUs.

by Felicity Jackson (she/her)
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