Northallerton Samaritans celebrates 50 years

Lord Crathorne at the Samaritans 50th anniversary lunch in Northallerton

Lord Crathorne at the Samaritans 50th anniversary lunch in Northallerton

First published in Hambleton news

A CHARITY that lends a caring ear to those in distress has celebrated 50 years of its Northallerton branch.

The Northallerton Samaritans has held its 50th anniversary lunch at the Golden Lion Hotel in the town, which included a raffle and talk from Lord Crathorne, North Yorkshire Lord Lieutenant.

Branch publicity officer Marianne Hill said the event was a great success – with one of the top prizes being an exercise bike which was tested out by Lord Crathorne.

She said: “Northallerton Samaritans is 50 years old, making it the oldest rural branch in the country, which is quite a coup for our market town.

“Samaritans itself has only been established for 60 years so we have been present from very early on in its lifetime.

“We wanted to mark the occasion to celebrate our anniversary which would remind people that we are here, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to support people suffering from emotional distress.”

Mrs Hill said that the local Samaritans wanted to highlight the importance of their work, and added that the charity is always looking for new volunteers, whether they would be answering phones or helping with fundraising, applying for funding bids, or publicity.

She said: “We are always here to offer support to those people who are struggling.

“We can’t emphasise enough the importance of having someone to speak to that is not personally connected.

“Often the individual’s family and friends just want to try and help, give their opinions.

“However, often all people in distress want is simply to be listened to, not judged, and they will always be believed in what they have to tell us.”

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