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Samaritans issue plea for help during festive season

Charity hopes to ensure phone lines stay open 24/7 over Christmas

The Isle of Man branch of Samaritans has issued a plea for help in the run up to the festive season, in a bid to ensure its phone lines stay open and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week over the Christmas break.

The charity says it "knows all too well that the festive period can be a difficult time for some, which is why it is urging all of us to give the gift of listening this Christmas."

Spokesperson Lesley Moughtin says you don't just need to be a listening volunteer to help people - try encouraging friends and family that are going through a difficult time to open up and talk, spend some time doing a nice activity, or just let them know you're there if they need support.

She went on to add "while we do everything we can to ensure calls are answered, sadly some do go unanswered because there aren't enough of us, and this is something we are desperate to put an end to."

On Christmas Eve last year, almost 1,650 volunteers were reporting for duty at Samaritans branches in the UK, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland.

There were nearly 1,500 Samaritans volunteers responding to thousands of calls for help on Christmas Day itself.

For those that want to go that step further, the branch would also like to hear from anyone interested in becoming a listening volunteer.

If you're a good listener, open-minded and non-judgemental - perhaps becoming a listening volunteer could be right for you.

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