Suggestions for reducing Christmas and New Year stress

Christmas can be among the most difficult times of the year, highlighting financial pressures, relationship issues or loneliness. To help Samaritans suggest that you

• Drink sensibly or even better avoid alcohol completely
• Keep your expectations of Christmas reasonable - you may not even like Christmas - and that's OK, remember it is just one day in the year
• Talk about how you are feeling to your friends, family, someone you trust or your GP. Remember Samaritans helpline 0800 726 666 is available 24 hours a day - including Christmas Day if you have something on your mind

Calls to Samaritans increase

Samaritans of Wellington saw an 11% increase in calls by for September 2010 (compared to August 2010) with October also seeing a rising average.

“This was partly due to the extension of our 0800 number to help victims of the Canterbury earthquake but was also due to financial concerns with the GST increases and increases in domestic violence,” says Bruce Wall, Chairman, Samaritans of Wellington.

Samaritans of Wellington receives 50-100 calls a day – an average of three calls an hour, or 20,000 calls last year. The busiest times are between 7pm and 2am.

Good Samaritans

In recognition of Volunteer Awareness Week the Independent Herald profiled two of our Samaritans.

Sue has been a Sam for 15 years and still has a passion for the work. "It's good fun, I wouldn't do it if i didn't love it."

In contrast Emily became a Sam just over 3 years ago, "It's a good feeling to know that you've been there for people who are feeling quite alone and people thanking you for being a listening ear."

THANK YOU to all our wonderful volunteers

At the start of Volunteer Awareness Week Samaritans wanted to take the chance to say THANK YOU to all our hard working, wonderful volunteers. They donate many hours to answering our helpline. Without them, we wouldn't be able to operate and provide our confidential, non-judgmental listening service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And most of all be there to help others.

The theme for Volunteer Awareness Week is volunteering across the generations. Here at Samaritans age isn't a barrier. Our volunteers are everyday people who range in age from 20 to 80.

Hill Street Farmers' Market

Hill Street Farmers' Market have been hugely supportive of our Open Day - promoting it to their customers as much as they can.

Samaritans would like to say a big thank you to them and encourage any of our current volunteers or prospective volunteers coming to the Open Day to support them too. Pop in for a cup of coffee on your way to the Open Day or grab a piece of fresh fish, bottle of olive oil or your favourite veggies...the atmosphere is great as they often have music too!

Wellington Samaritans Open Day 26th June

Wellington Samaritans are running an Open Day during Volunteer Awareness Week for those interested in becoming a volunteer. Please visit our centre on Saturday 26th June between 10am and 12 noon. The centre is in Wellington Cathedral Car Park, Hill Street, Thorndon – look for signage.

The date coincides with the Hill Street Market so could be an opportunity to fit in a bit of shopping at the same time?

Make a difference, make a donation

Samaritans volunteers give up their time 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to listen to the many callers we receive. Wellington Samaritans alone receives in excess of 20,000 calls per year and this effort is replicated across the 6 centres that make up Samaritans in New Zealand.

Please help us to continue this vital work by making a donation now with your credit or debit card using the secure PayPal payment system.

Thank you.

Is your name Sam?

Samaritans operates a telephone listening service for people 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from 6 branches across the North Island.

We are now taking applications for our next training course in June.

Our volunteers come from all walks of life and all our volunteers take part in a comprehensive training course that mixes group training with personal mentoring before answering a single call.

If you think you could be a Sam, why not read the Volunteer page and find out more.