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Samaritans (charity) facts for kids

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Samaritans Coventry 6f08
The Coventry branch of Samaritans

The Samaritans is a charity in the United Kingdom and Ireland. They are a support group for those at risk of suicide.


The Samaritans, was founded on November 5, 1953 by Chad Varah, a vicar. He started as a man "willing to listen". His approach was considered controversial at the time. "Everyone thought suicidal people were mad," he said. "But they just needed to be listened to." Today there are over 21,000 volunteers in 201 locations. Varah retired from the Samaritans in 1986.


A large amount of Samaritans' work is a telephone hotline, which is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They also offer a drop-in service for face-to-face discussion. Samaritans also offer confidential Email support. The Samaritans volunteers are trained in counselling skills, so they do not judge people.


Samaritans have a strict code of confidentiality, even after the death of a caller. Unless the caller gives consent to pass on information, it will be broken only in rare circumstances.

International reach

Through its email service, Samaritans' work has extended well beyond the UK and Ireland, as messages are received from all around the world.

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