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Cambridge Samaritans increases capacity so it can answer more than 30,000 calls a year



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The official reopening of the Cambridge Samaritans main premises in central Cambridge took place on Samaritans Day, as the charity revealed that it aims to grow its capacity to answer more than 30,000 calls a year.

The day is held on Sunday, July 24 - a date chosen to reflect the 24/7 work of the charity - and was particularly notable this year as it marked the 60th founding of the branch.

Brenda Bond, Cambridge branch director of the Samaritans, at their newly-refurbished premises with Cllr Tim Bick, who officially reopened the premises. Picture: Keith Heppell
Brenda Bond, Cambridge branch director of the Samaritans, at their newly-refurbished premises with Cllr Tim Bick, who officially reopened the premises. Picture: Keith Heppell

The charity has reconfigured and refurbished its premises over the last year, and Cambridge city councillor Tim Bick was on hand to cut the ribbon.

Brenda Bond, branch director, said: “The work allows us to gradually increase our capacity to answer the phones even more often than our current rate of around 30,000 calls a year.

“Cllr Bick spoke about the value of the work we do and expressed his appreciation of the fact that we managed to keep going throughout the Covid pandemic.

“This was due to our 185-plus volunteers pulling out all the stops to get into the centre and work on the telephone helpline.

Brenda Bond, Cambridge branch director of the Samaritans, and colleagues at their newly-refurbished premises with Cllr Tim Bick, who officially reopened the premises. Picture: Keith Heppell
Brenda Bond, Cambridge branch director of the Samaritans, and colleagues at their newly-refurbished premises with Cllr Tim Bick, who officially reopened the premises. Picture: Keith Heppell

“It was helpful that government designated us as essential workers so we were able to travel into the branch to answer the phones.

“Our simultaneous awareness raising event on Christ’s Pieces also went well, with volunteers alternately holding down the gazebo in the wind and handing out contact cards and information on what we do.”

The Samaritans hold an awareness day on Parker's Piece. Picture: Samaritans
The Samaritans hold an awareness day on Parker's Piece. Picture: Samaritans

The Samaritans are there to listen to anyone who needs help.

To contact the Samaritans, freephone 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org.



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