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Samaritans and Admiral
Samaritans play a vital role in our high-pressure society. Every 5 seconds, someone, somewhere, in the UK and ROI calls Samaritans. There are 20,665 Samaritans volunteers in 201 branches across the UK and Republic of Ireland available 24 hours a day, every day of the year to provide support to anyone who might be struggling to cope. Samaritans provide human contact giving people the time and space to talk through their problems so that they can find their own way forward.
Everyone at some point in their lives may struggle to cope, but if you don't have the right kind of support, problems can sometimes spiral out of control. Samaritans listen to people of all ages and backgrounds, from the unemployed to captains of industry, to help them deal with any number of issues including redundancy, bereavement, divorce, bullying, and debt.
I am really enjoying my challenge so far. It has been amazing meeting so many of my fellow volunteers who have welcomed me in such a warm way. I hope that the awareness raised from my challenge will mean that something good has come out of what has been a very difficult time for me and my family.
What's Admiral's contribution?
In 2012 Admiral is continuing to support both Samaritans Running Team and their national awareness day, 24:7.
Samaritans' running team will consist of 258 runners from across the UK, who will cover a total of 5,488 miles (the length of the Great Wall of China) and are aiming to raise an incredible £200,000 for the charity that answers calls from people struggling to cope. From the London Marathon, to the Great North Run, Admiral is supporting this incredible team to raise vital funds for the charity.
Samaritans' national awareness day 24:7, takes place on 24 July and raises awareness of its unique round-the-clock service and the 20,665 volunteers who keep the helpline running.
This year's 24:7 event will see David Exley a 64-year-old volunteer from Samaritans Worthing Branch riding his motorcycle across the UK and Ireland visiting every one of the charity's 201 branches. David's challenge will see him cover a massive 6,000 miles. He will travel by ferry and aeroplane to reach some of Samaritans' most remote branches on his whistle-stop tour.
David has very personal reasons for wanting to complete this challenge. Almost 24 years ago, David's younger brother Tim took his own life (aged 32) and 4 years ago, David's son James took his own life. James was only 34 years old and both James and David left young families.
At the time of James' death, David was training to become a Samaritans volunteer, following in the footsteps of his father, who was a volunteer. David has said that he can't help wondering that if either James or Tim had contacted Samaritans they may be alive today. David is aiming to raise £10,000 by completing this challenge, as well as generating invaluable awareness of Samaritans' service.
Samaritans local branches will be celebrating David's arrival with local celebrities and dignitaries meeting him at every branch.
To find out how far David has travelled on his epic journey, follow him here. You can also visit David's fundraising page.
You can help too
Samaritans' 20,665 volunteers provide support by phone, SMS, email and face-to-face visits across 201 branches in the UK and the Republic of Ireland, and also reach out to schools, hospitals, prisons and the homeless. The service they provide is confidential and non-judgemental.
Volunteers are at the heart of Samaritans, but it's still an expensive service to run - it costs £10 million every year to keep the phone lines open.
To find out how you can help keep the service running, please visit www.samaritans.org for information on everything from volunteering to fundraising.