Samaritans in Cornwall Need Helping Hand
A Cornwall charity is appealing to the public to help urgently complete the final 12% of its fundraising appeal to relocate to new premises, which will enable it to reach more people in the county.
Marking half a century during this challenging year, Samaritans of Cornwall at Truro needs the public’s support to safeguard the next 50 years and help even more people in distress.
Cornwall Samaritans is an independent charity that must raise its own funds to operate each year, whilst also undertaking a major capital appeal to move from its current building at 19 Treyew Road in Truro, which is not fully accessible for its volunteers and face-to-face contacts, and does not enable the charity to reach everyone who needs its services.
In the current climate, where many people are feeling the effects of isolation and anxiety on their mental health, Cornwall Samaritans has never been more crucial.
Helping those in despair, or with suicidal thoughts, the response of Cornwall Samaritans’ volunteers in Cornwall has been overwhelming during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Whilst many Samaritans branches around the country were at 30% of their normal operating capacity (due to volunteers having to self-isolate or shield a loved-one), Cornwall Samaritans’ volunteers took on additional shifts to help meet the public’s need – as their control room has the space to enable social distancing and tight decontamination regimes.
Since the beginning of March, when the effects of Covid-19 and lockdown began to take their toll, Cornwall Samaritans have responded to over 15,000 telephone calls and over 2000 emails – answering over 17,000 calls for help.
This intervention is also often felt by loved-ones; as a very conservative approximation, if each call for help indirectly affected 2 loved-ones, the total number of positive outcomes reached by Cornwall Samaritans are in excess of 51,000 so far from March this year.
Throughout this response, the search for more suitable premises and raising funds to relocate has continued and must now proceed with urgency to enable the charity to reach more people in Cornwall and be fully accessible to its crucial volunteers.
Sue Wright, Director of Cornwall Samaritans explains: “Run completely by volunteers, Cornwall Samaritans is a local independent charity, and we must raise our own funds. We hoped that 2020 would be an exciting and positive year, with plans underway to celebrate our 50th anniversary by hosting the Samaritans’ national walk event. This was going to enable us to raise much-needed funds to help relocate to a more suitable building. The search was on for the very best premises and fundraising was happening in earnest. Then Covid-19 resulted in an unexpected turn of events – a dramatic drop in income, against a backdrop of an increase in demand for our services.”
Sue continued: “All of our fundraising events had to be cancelled, and our stall at Par Market – which is one of our main ways of raising funds each year – had to close following government restrictions. We lost our main income streams, and a building that we had identified as being suitable for our needs.”
Sue added: “As a result of Covid-19, our services have never been more vital. So throughout the year our focus had to shift onto securing the funds that we needed to continue to operate and respond to those in crisis. With those funds now in place, we must complete the funding needed for our relocation – but we need the public’s help to achieve this.”
To date £580.094 has been raised or pledged, with £76,906 remaining to raise, against an appeal target of £657,000.
Sue went on: “We have already made fantastic progress and are at 88% of our target, but we need the publics’ help to raise the final 12%. We also need their help to find the perfect new location. It must be within the Truro area and have the potential to be made fully accessible to meet the needs of our existing and potential volunteers. Our goal is to improve facilities, for volunteers with limited mobility or other disabilities. As a result, we hope to attract new volunteers so that we can open more hours, embrace new technology and offer more outreach into the community. If anyone is considering selling their property in the Truro area, we urge them to get in touch.”
With new and improved premises on the horizon, which will enable the charity to recruit more volunteers to reach even more people in the county that need their help, Cornwall Samaritans is also inviting anyone that may be interested in volunteering with them to come forward.
To donate to the appeal, visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/cornwallsamaritansappeal, or for further information about the charity or volunteering, please contact Samaritans of Cornwall at Truro on firstname.lastname@example.org, visit or find them on Twitter.