BURY Samaritans has launched a campaign to raise awareness of its round-the-clock emotional support services and to encourage people to get in touch if they need support.

Its 'Talk To Us' campaign comes as part of proactive approach to awareness usually confined to the most important date in their calendar- July 24- Samaritans Awareness Day.

Since lockdown began in March, Samaritans volunteers have suggested that one in three callers talk about coronavirus ,with many people feeling more anxious and distressed than before the pandemic. Volunteer surveys, which gathered over 3,000 responses, also found the most common concerns related to coronavirus are around loneliness, isolation, mental health and illness, family, finances and unemployment.

Chris Mills Branch Director at Bury Samaritans said: “Our volunteers have been working day and night to be there for anyone who is struggling in these uncertain and challenging times. 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 across the country until further notice, but we hope that the public can continue to support us in any way they can, to ensure that our volunteers can continue to be there for anyone struggling to cope.”

Talk To Us July is Samaritans annual awareness campaign that runs throughout and helps increase the visibility of Samaritans’ service, highlights the work of volunteers and helps 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.

Bury Samaritans is encouraging the local community to show their support for their seven volunteers who will be taking part in the Samarathon Challenge and walking 26.2 miles on Friday 24th July as part of the campaign. You can see the route and donate via www.samaritans.org/bury

Anyone can contact Samaritans for free any time from any phone on 116 123, even a mobile without credit, or you can email jo@samaritans.org.

For more information on how to get involved visit www.samaritans.org/support-us/campaign/talk-us/ or join in the conversation on social media using #TalkToUs.