Legal & General to fund expansion of Samaritans volunteer training initiatives

Legal & General is proud to help fund the expansion of Samaritans’ existing volunteer training initiatives.

Due to shielding restrictions, Samaritans saw a 30 per cent reduction in volunteers who were able to do listening shifts at the start of the pandemic, with other volunteers stepping in to do extra shifts or ensure the charity could continue to be there round the clock for those in need. Over the last year Samaritans volunteers have spent over one million hours listening to people struggling to cope. The charity responds to around 10,000 calls for help every day.

The funding from Legal & General will expand existing Samaritans training programs as the charity looks at new volunteering models that will help them continue to be there for anyone struggling to cope. 

Julie Bentley, Samaritans CEO said: “Recent events have tested everyone’s resilience. We know that our service is needed now more than ever. Legal & General’s funding will help us to expand our existing volunteer training initiatives and help us continue to be there for people struggling to cope, around the clock.”

Sara Heald, Legal & General Head of CSR said: “So many of us experience mental illness at some stage in our lives.  The support available to us at these times of crisis  makes the difference to lives. At Legal & General we have been supporters of the Samaritans for many years  and this pilot scheme will enable us to continue that work to help bring more volunteers onboard for them”.   

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the UK population’s mental health as Samaritans reports that over a fifth of the calls to its helpline have referenced coronavirus in the past year, and Samaritans’ volunteers indicate that the pandemic has affected all callers in some way.

Legal & General is committed to raising the conversation around mental health. The financial service company has over 100 Mental Health First Aid-qualified individuals who are   trained and supported.  Some of employees volunteer with the Samaritans – which is actively encouraged by the firm. In 2020 Legal & General partnered with mental health app Unmind to offer free access to support all  employees. 

Legal & General launched The Not a Red Card awards in 2017.  The awards celebrate organisations and individuals that have developed and implemented best practice when it comes to mental health provision in the workplace. The campaign uses sport to raise awareness of, and encourage businesses to talk about mental health in the workplace.

About Samaritans

Anyone can contact Samaritans FREE any time from any phone on 116 123, even a mobile without credit. This number won’t show up on your phone bill. Or you can email jo@samaritans.org or visit www.samaritans.org

Everyday, Samaritans volunteers respond to around 10,000 calls for help.

Samaritans is a charity and it’s the public’s kind donations and more than 20,000 volunteers that mean we are always there for anyone struggling to cope. 

You can follow Samaritans on social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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