Published Friday 27 September 2019 at 11:05
The Blackburn with Darwen, Hyndburn & Ribble Valley branch of the Samaritans is set to benefit from a £141k renovation after funding was successfully secured.
Blackburn with Darwen Council assisted the Samaritans volunteers in their application for a £33k grant to the Wolfson Foundation, a national charity that awards grants to support and promote excellence in education, science and medicine, the arts and humanities and health and disability.
Grants from other local and national organisations was also successfully sought to round out the project.
The facilities at the Samaritans’ New Park Street home are now set to benefit from a new duty room – where volunteers take calls for anyone who needs emotional support –kitchen, toilets and improved training facilities.
John Littlewood a volunteer from the branch of Samaritans said:
In our branch’s 50th year of providing emotional support for the local and wider community our aim was to improve access to our premises for disabled face-to-face callers and current plus potential volunteers. The last year alone our branch took over 30k calls for emotional support.
The Wolfson Foundation was a natural choice and our branch was successful in obtaining a grant which, along with other grants from other organisations, helped us to achieve a full renovation.
Since the Wolfson Foundation was established in 1955, over £900 million has been awarded to more than 11,000 projects throughout the UK.
Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of the Wolfson Foundation said:
The Wolfson Foundation is a strong supporter of projects supporting mental health and wellbeing. We are delighted to be funding this project, which will give much needed access to both the building and the excellent services that the Samaritans are able to provide.
The news comes hot on the heels of local activity for suicide prevention day including a multi-faith service at Blackburn Cathedral and vigil outside Blackburn town hall.
Councillor Damian Talbot, Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing, said:
Coming so soon after the local activity for Suicide Prevention Day this is fantastic news and I’m delighted we were able to assist in the application. The Samaritans provide a vitally important and valued service for the people of our borough and beyond and it’s excellent their staff will be able to continue to do so in more comfort and with better facilities.
Call Samaritans free on 116 123, or call into the Blackburn branch at 105 New Park Street. Alternatively email: email@example.com.
If you would like to find out more about volunteering, visit: www.samaritans.org