Boost for Scunthorpe Samaritans

The Scunthorpe branch of national charity Samaritans has received a £500 boost to support its work locally as part of a celebration event for a Lincolnshire Co-op pharmacy

Westcliff Pharmacy started serving customers from its new space at the redeveloped Westcliff precinct in April, after moving from its old home on the site.

The unit has been fitted out using £150,000 of investment to create a fresh and bright space with two private consultation rooms, a bigger selection of over-the-counter medicines and seating for customers.

An event on Friday 3rd August saw a number of people, from Lincolnshire Co-op representatives and local ward councillors to Leader of North Lincolnshire Council Rob Waltham and Chief Executive Denise Hyde, welcomed inside to explore and meet the team.

And as part of the celebrations, the Scunthorpe branch of the Samaritans was presented with a cheque by Lincolnshire Co-op President Steve Hughes. 

Deputy Director for Outreach at Scunthorpe Samaritans Simon Forrest said the donation will help fund materials such as branded pens to take into secondary schools during emotional health workshops, among other local work. 

"We've got some specific challenges in Samaritans and one is that we are entirely voluntary, which means that we rely completely on donations, so this donation will make a real difference," he said.

"A lot of young people haven't heard of Samaritans and the support that is available, and it is just letting them know there is help available. 

"There are several ways to get in touch with us. For younger people, they sometimes prefer things like text, and we also use emails. A lot of people prefer to write things down than to use their voices because it can be quite difficult to start talking. 

"In about 20 per cent of our calls, the person chooses not to speak. Hopefully what they'll do is call back another time and talk to us but it's knowing there is someone on the end of the line - and we are there 24 hours a day." 

The Westcliff Pharmacy team suggested that the money could go to the local branch of the Samaritans. 

Dispenser Lynn McGuire said: "It was something that came straight to me, and the team all agreed. My mum was a Samaritan and I knew that everything the Samaritans do is run through volunteers or fundraising." 

A plaque was unveiled to mark the official opening of the pharmacy, and Lincolnshire Co-op's Chief Executive Ursula Lidbetter and Head of Pharmacy Alastair Farquhar gave short speeches.

The Scunthorpe branch of Samaritans is on the corner of Lindum Street and Cole Street in Scunthorpe for anyone who needs to drop-in for a chat and a confidential, listening ear. Its opening hours can be found here.

If you need to talk, you can also call on 01724 860 000 (local call charges apply) or the Samaritans national phone line on 116 123 (this number is free to call).


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