Samaritans in NZ and Australia bridge time zones to provide support

Samaritans in NZ and Australia bridge time zones to provide support

20th January 2016

MEDIA RELEASE

New Zealand’s most established emotional support service is leveraging time zone differences in Tasmania and Western Australia to enhance Samaritans service to people needing support at any time of the day or night.

Wellington, Perth and Launceston Samaritans centres have been operating independently for around 50 years and have now started to share volunteer hours effectively to provide 24 hour coverage.

Samaritans support services are provided entirely by highly trained volunteers who are trained to provide confidential, non-religious, and non-judgemental phone support, to those in crisis or need of emotional support.

Wellington Samaritans Board Chairperson, Cheryl Crooks says that the partnership is exciting and takes the modern approach of seeing time zone differences as an opportunity to better service the growing demands for Samaritans services in New Zealand and Australia.

“New Zealand and Australia Samaritans have similar challenges in providing a 24/7 service dependent on volunteers,” Ms Crooks said.

“With more than 16,500 calls to the Wellington Samaritans centre alone in 2015 this new relationship with Australia means that our indispensable service is available at any time for lonely and distressed New Zealander’s” she said.

Ms Crooks says that being volunteer-based and allowing callers to remain anonymous means that Samaritans has an important point of difference to other services in our communities.

She says that Samaritans wherever they are based have a shared priority to provide a caring listening service whenever people need support.

The Wellington Samaritans centre is based in central Wellington and welcomes volunteers who are interested in providing empathetic and non-judgemental support to callers.

If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer in 2016 you can visit the Samaritans website: www.samaritans.org,nz for more information.

 

For more information contact:

Isabelle Grundy | Marketing and Communications Advisor | Samaritans of Wellington

Phone: 04 472 3676.  Email:  marketing@samaritans.org.nz