Wales Impact Report ENGLISH web


Wales Impact Report ENGLISH web




Wales Impact Report





Samaritans’ vision is that fewer people die by suicide

We work to achieve this vision by making it our mission to alleviate emotional

distress and reduce the incidence of suicidal feelings and suicidal behaviour.

We do this by:

Being available round the clock to provide

emotional support for people who are experiencing feelings

of emotional distress or despair, including those which may

lead to suicide.

Reaching out

to high risk groups and communities

to reduce the risk of suicide.

Working in partnership

with other organisations, agencies

and experts to achieve our Vision.

Influencing public policy

and raising awareness of the challenges

of reducing suicide.

We are committed to the following values:

listening, confidentiality, people making their own decisions,

being non-judgemental and offering people human contact.



This Wales Impact Report looks at how the nine branches in Wales raise

awareness of our service and reach out in the local community to support

people struggling to cope. Our branches work in schools, hospitals,

prisons and rail stations. None of this would be possible without the time

and dedication of our 691 volunteers.

The report also looks at how nationally we are working to reduce

suicide. The causes of suicide are complex and reducing it means that

all agencies must work effectively together. This is why it is so important

that we have a strategy in Wales which brings organisations together to

make sure that a range of actions take place. These actions must include

encouraging people who are going through a difficult time to seek help.

Against a backdrop of difficult economic times and where a

disproportionate number of those who take their lives are struggling

with social and economic deprivation, we need to convince people that

talking about what’s troubling them is valuable and potentially

life-saving. It is something we all need to do and encourage other people

to do.

Sarah Stone

Executive Director for Wales

The demand for our service is increasing. We took a call every three

minutes last year in Wales. It is important that we keep working to raise

awareness of our service and the benefits of talking. We also need to

keep evolving and finding new ways to reach out to people, continuing

to be accessible to all who desperately need our service.

Everyone has moments in their life where they struggle to cope.

Talking can be incredibly powerful and our service allows our callers to

find their own way forward. Last year 161,170 callers trusted us enough

to help them through a tough time.

Christopher Mill

Trustee from Wales



We don’t just wait for people to get in touch with us – we make sure as many

people as possible know who we are and how we can help them.

From teaching rail staff how to approach commuters who might need our

help, to training prisoners to support their peers, we’re making sure we’re

reaching all corners of society that need us.

Each year between 300

and 350 people in Wales die

from suicide.

The male suicide rate is

approximately 3½ times higher

than the female rate.

In 2013 we received

161,170 calls for help.

10,124 of these were by email

and 14,708 by SMS.

Someone made contact with us

every 3 minutes.

We had 691 volunteers,

including 564 listening volunteers,

and 127 support and shop


According to the 2013 annual

survey, one in every six calls

made to Samaritans talked

about financial worries.

Our work in prisons

A prisoner is six times more likely to take their

own life. Samaritans has been working in prisons for

more than 20 years running a Listener scheme with

prison services. This scheme is about training prisoners

to give face-to-face support to their peers.

The Listener scheme started in HMP Swansea in

1991 and now operates in nearly every prison in the

UK and every prison in Wales. Last year more than

2,000 prisoners spoke to our Listeners, supported by

volunteer prison teams in Cardiff, Swansea, Bridgend

and Newport branches. We also have a regular

presence at bail hostels in Swansea and Bangor.

Supporting young people

We support young people in schools and colleges

across Wales in a number of different ways.

Giving talks to students about Samaritans and

emotional health continues to be the most popular

schools activity our branches carry out. We also

produce teaching resources about emotional health,

coping strategies and help-seeking through our DEAL

programme (Developing Emotional Awareness and

Learning). We reached more than 2,800 people in

education services in Wales.

Step by Step is our suicide response service for

secondary schools. Through Step by Step, support

has been offered to a number of schools in Wales.

Over the last year we have built an ongoing

partnership with Newport City Council to work with

them to respond to any local incidents and support the

school community in that area.


Working to prevent railway suicide

Samaritans has been working closely with Network

Rail to reduce the number of rail suicides and to

raise awareness among men in their 30s, 40s and

50s who are at most risk. The partnership includes a

programme of suicide prevention and post-incident

support activities.

In Wales, this has included hotspot identification, an

awareness campaign, training for rail staff and work to

encourage responsible media reporting of suicides.

Samaritans volunteers have delivered post-incident

support at more than three rail stations in Wales with

proactive awareness-raising work, including visits by

the ‘Samaritans bus’ at a number of stations.

The Network Rail Wales Route Suicide

Prevention team, along with other industry

stakeholders, including Arriva Trains

Wales, First Great Western and the British

Transport Police, have been working closely

with Samaritans to reduce the potential of

suicides on our railway.

Our stakeholder community has a

committed prevention plan that sets out a

number of distinct interventions. With the

technical support of the Samaritans, we

have made significant investment in physical

prevention measures and trained over 270

frontline workers (ATW, NR and BTP) in

Wales, improving their confidence to safely

intervene in potential suicide incidents.

Early feedback from our people has been

very positive; scoring 4.8 out of 5 for

learning outcomes, but most importantly

this training has been put to real use

supporting our people in many of the 46

recorded suicide prevention intervention

events in Wales last year.

Dr Paul I Clark,

Head of Route Safety, Health and Environment

Network Rail



Offering expert advice to the media on reporting suicide

Research shows clear links between how the media

portray suicide and copycat behaviour among groups

at high risk of suicide. Samaritans’ guidelines, which

are based on over two decades of our close work with

the media, offer practical guidance for reporters and

programme makers on how to handle this sensitive

issue responsibly, above and beyond editorial codes

set out by industry regulators.

Our bilingual Media Guidelines for Reporting Suicide were

launched in January 2014 by Mark Drakeford AM, Minister

for Health and Social Services.

Funding for the printing of our bilingual guidelines

was provided by Public Health Wales and

Swansea University.

Increasing our influence

As a member of the National Advisory Group to Welsh

Government on Suicide and Self Harm Prevention

we welcome the intention to produce a revised

strategy and action plan. We have made a significant

contribution to the development of this plan, due for

publication later this year.

Suicide is the result of many different causes

interacting in complex ways. Because of this,

suicide prevention requires the action of multiple

organisations across sectors. This is why we believe

national suicide prevention strategies are a key

component in reducing suicide. They establish

the strategic framework needed for a range of

interventions to be brought in nationally, regionally

and locally in a joined-up way.

We want this revised strategy to address issues such

as support for people bereaved by suicide, socioeconomic

factors, and suicide information online.


Building emotional resilience and

communication in the workplace

We have been delivering courses for 10 years across

the UK and ROI, based on our 60 years of listening to

people with nowhere else to turn. The courses train

staff in simple and effective tools and techniques, and

give employees the skills and confidence they need to

handle emotional situations.

We’ve delivered training to more than 100 employees

from a wide range of organisations in 2013/14,

including RNIB Cymru, Neath and Port Talbot County

Borough Council and the Centre for Public Scrutiny.


We’ll continue to deliver and develop

our service to improve emotional wellbeing

and work to reduce suicide.

We’ll partner with other organisations

to encourage high risk groups to seek help.

We’ll continue to develop our relationships

with and influence Government.

We’ll brief more media outlets

on our guidelines to make sure standards

of reporting suicide in Wales continue

to improve.

We’ll work with Welsh Government and

partners to contribute to the design and

implementation of the revised suicide

and self harm prevention strategy

and action plan.



We work both nationally and locally, and understand that each local area

also has its own unique needs. In 2013/14, every one of our nine branches

in Wales raised money, held events and developed their own partnerships

to benefit their local communities.

“Our volunteers are dedicated to

being there for callers round the

clock. I am proud of the work our

branches are doing to reach out to

high risk groups to meet the needs

of their local communities.”

Beverley Bleasdale

Regional Director for Wales and the Marches

Aberystwyth: raising vital funds

A team of dedicated fundraising volunteers

had a busy year with a full programme

of events in Aberystwyth. Fundraising in

the town centre has not only provided a

regular and vital source of income, but has

helped generate awareness and increase

understanding of their work.

Aberystwyth branch held a charity

concert in September 2013 dedicated

to the memory of volunteer and former

Branch Director, Christine. More than 80

people attended the concert at St Padarns

Church, Llanbadarn Fawr, which featured

performances from the Aberystwyth Male

Voice Choir, close harmony singing group,

Sgarmes, and soloist Rachel Stephens.

In October 2013, walkers tackled a

25 mile stretch of the Wales Coast Path

from New Quay to Aberystwyth to raise

money for Samaritans and the local Mind

health and wellbeing centre. Volunteers at

Aberystwyth branch now hope to turn the

walk into an annual event.


Bangor: meeting the needs of the local community

Through a strong and growing team of

support volunteers, Bangor branch has

been reaching out to even more people

in need of support. Volunteers now make

weekly visits to a local bail hostel,

offering face-to-face emotional support

to residents.

The branch also supports young people

in an increasing number of schools in

Anglesey, and has been developing links

in the Conwy Valley.

The branch celebrated Samaritans’ 60th

birthday with a Gala Dinner and Auction

in December 2013. Volunteers and guests

were joined by BBC wildlife presenter,

Iolo Williams, a long-standing supporter.

The Caernarfon event was the highlight of

the year in North West Wales, raising over

£2,000 for the branch. Over the next

12 months, Bangor branch hopes to

expand its public awareness work, recruit

more volunteers and continue developing

new partnerships.

Brecon and Radnor: raising awareness in mid-Wales

Brecon and Radnor branch has continued

to go from strength to strength this past

year with successful volunteer recruitment

campaigns and their continued outreach

work. The branch has been reaching out

to schools, colleges and local Women’s


They have also promoted awareness of

the service and raised money at major

events and festivals, including the Builth

Music Festival, Royal Welsh Show and Hay

Literary Festival.

The branch has a shop located at

2 High Street, Llandrindod Wells and it is

thriving. It provides a welcome revenue

stream, as well as giving the branch a high

profile in a busy area. It even won the ‘Best

Window’ award for a second time at the

annual Llandrindod Victorian Festival 2013.

The work of the branch has also been

recognised by the High Sheriff of Powys,

who recently nominated Samaritans as his

charity of choice while in office. A special

programme of activities is being planned

to celebrate the branch’s 20th birthday in

late 2014.


OUR LOCAL WORK continued

Bridgend: celebrating 40 years of listening

Bridgend Samaritans celebrated its 40th birthday

in 2013. The branch first opened its helpline in

Maesteg in 1973, before moving into Bridgend itself

the following year. Today the branch has more than

80 volunteers who listen to nearly 21,000 people

each year.

Bridgend Samaritans also organised a 40 kilometre

coastal walk in May 2013 to mark the 40th birthday

of the branch and 38 people took part.

The walk followed the Wales Coast Path from Kenfig

Sands to Llantwit Major Beach, and raised awareness

of our service as well as much-needed funds for the

branch. The Bridgend branch school team have also

had a busy year. The volunteers have delivered over 90

interactive Emotional Health and Wellbeing workshops

to four colleges and 10 secondary schools in the area –

reaching out to around 1,900 students aged between

12 and 25 years.

Cardiff and District: promoting the value of talking

More than 110 listening and support volunteers work

together to provide a much needed service in Cardiff

and District area. In 2013/14, the branch reached out

to high risk people in schools and A&E departments,

and continued to support the Listener scheme at

HMP Cardiff.

The branch also had a presence at rail stations across

South Wales. Volunteers visited priority stations to

distribute leaflets and to talk to commuters. The

branch also provided much valued post-incident

support on three occasions.

And in August 2013, Cardiff City Football Club made a

donation of £25,000 to Cardiff and District branch.

This was part of the club’s ‘Thanks a Million’

campaign. The branch was one of 50 local charities

and community schemes selected to share in the one

million pound giveaway.

The branch plans to use the money to find new ways to

promote the ‘Talk to Us’ message throughout the year

to high risk groups.


Haverfordwest and Pembrokeshire:

the welcoming face of Samaritans

in the community

Haverfordwest and Pembrokeshire branch works

hard to raise awareness in the local community.

This is so people struggling to cope know how to find

the support they need. A big part of this awareness

raising is done via the shop at 2 Upper Market Street,


Open for more than 30 hours each week, the shop

is a banner for Samaritans, as well as being a critical

source of financial support for the branch. The shop

has 25 volunteers and they all act as a reassuring and

welcoming face of Samaritans in the local community.

There is evidence that contact with the Haverfordwest

shop has given people going through a difficult time

the confidence to take the next step of contacting us

for space to talk.

Reaching out and working with related organisations

is a valuable complement to our emotional support

service. In the last year, the shop benefitted from

the local Mind Resource Centre in Haverfordwest.

Volunteers from the Centre helped the shop by making

sure all price tags had the helpline number on them

and they will soon begin helping the branch with the

task of sorting through all the goods donated so that

they can be sold in the shop.

Newport and Gwent: building partnerships

Newport and Gwent branch has had a busy year

forging partnerships with other services and local

organisations in contact with high risk groups.

Volunteers have been supporting clients of Gwent

Cruse while they wait for bereavement services and a

successful relationship has also been built with

Bipolar UK.

The branch is also an active member of the new

Aneurin Bevan Health Board suicide and self harm

prevention forum, and is participating in workshops

to take forward recommendations featured in the

national strategy and action plan.

The work with young people at the branch has

continued to develop and partnerships are now in

place with Newport, Torfaen and Monmouthshire

to support schools in the aftermath of a suicide.

Students from the University of South Wales

also created a short film about Samaritans which

encourages young people to seek help. Volunteers

delivered a series of workshops to young unemployed

people at a local Itec training centre.

Over the next year Newport and Gwent branch will

work to recruit new volunteers so that their valuable

outreach work can continue to grow and reach

vulnerable people.




Rhyl: putting callers first in North East Wales

Samaritans is there for people when they need us,

which could be any time of the day or night. Rhyl

branch recently introduced new shifts to make sure

volunteers can answer more calls when people are

finding it difficult to get through the night.

The branch is rising to this challenge by trying to

recruit an additional 10-12 volunteers.

Stephen Hoddell, Samaritans Chair, helped by

launching a new recruitment campaign at a recent

visit to the branch.

The North East Wales branch will be celebrating

its 40th birthday this year and has several events

planned to look back over the years at how it has

supported callers. This will include celebrating with

volunteers past and present, as well as with members

of the community.

Swansea: Samaritans by the sea

Promoting awareness was the focus for Swansea

branch in 2013/14. Volunteers gave talks to a number

of community groups and had a presence at social

venues and events, including a monthly produce

market and Swansea’s ‘Black Friday’- the last Friday

before Christmas. They were also successful in securing

a regular spot on the promenade. This gave volunteers

the opportunity to hand out leaflets, chat to people

passing by, and to offer the service face-to-face.

The branch also raised awareness on local radio

stations The Wave and Swansea Sound, and developed

a successful partnership with a local business. The

company agreed to place Samaritans stickers in 125

portable toilets used at outdoor events across Wales.

In 2014/15, the branch hopes to continue developing

these new and innovative partnerships and specifically

will be exploring ways of working with food banks in

the area.




Samaritans volunteers are ordinary people who provide a safe place for people

struggling to cope. Each year in Wales between 300 and 350 people die by

suicide. Our volunteers deliver and manage the service and their time is worth

over £2.3 million. Without them we wouldn’t be able to provide the time and

space for people to talk.

In 2013, we had 691 volunteers,

including 564 listening volunteers,

and 127 support and shop


We had more than 1,100 enquiries

from potential volunteers this

year. That’s 13% higher than

in 2012.

Our volunteers also continue to

develop their skills with ongoing

training. 168 volunteers

received regional training

this year. Many more received

training at branch level.




Sian’s story

I became a volunteer after

receiving amazing support from

Samaritans myself, when I was

at the lowest point I have ever


I went through a really tough time for a few years when I

was in an abusive relationship – I was estranged from my

family and had nowhere to turn. I felt ashamed and couldn't

tell anyone what was going on. But I felt like I could talk to

Samaritans, and for the first time I was able to tell someone

what I was going through. It was a huge relief, like a weight

had been lifted. Speaking to them really helped me.

I must have been a mess at the end of the phone, but the

volunteer I spoke to listened to me, and almost immediately,

I started to feel much better.

Speaking to Samaritans gave me the strength to make some

big decisions, and soon after that call I left my husband.

Talking about what I was going through made things more

real, and suddenly I realised how much I needed to get out

of the situation.

I started volunteering because I wanted the chance to thank

Samaritans for their support, to give something back, and to

help other people going through troubles. I get such a feeling

of purpose by being there to listen, and I know just how vital

it is that Samaritans continues to be there round the clock.


Samaritans is a charity and it is the public’s kind donations that keep our helpline available round the clock, every

single day of the year. We would like to offer our thanks to all those who have generously supported Samaritans.

Samaritans gratefully acknowledges the support it receives from Welsh Government.

Someone to talk to – people contact us when things are getting

to them. They don’t have to be suicidal.

We’re always here – round the clock, every single day of the year.

A safe place – as volunteers we’re ordinary people, and keep all

our conversations private.

People can be themselves – whoever they are, however they feel,

whatever life’s done to them.

We’re a charity – it’s the public’s kind donations that keep our

helpline open.

08457 90 90 90 * UK

0300 123 3011 † Welsh Language Line

Floor 2, 33-35 Cathedral Road, Cardiff CF11 9HB

029 2022 2008

* Please see our website for latest call charges. † 7-11pm only, 7 days a week.

Patron: HRH The Prince of Wales. Founded in 1953 by the late Prebendary Dr Chad Varah CH CBE. A charity registered in England and Wales

no. 219432, in Scotland no. SC040604 and no. SC009843, and in Ireland no. CHY11880. Incorporated in England and Wales in 1963 as a

company limited by guarantee no. 757372, and in Ireland no. 450 409.

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