Samaritans in Athlone & Midlands Branch are reminding those in need that their helpline will be open during their darkest hours if they are lonely or struggling to cope this Christmas.
Volunteers on the 24-hour-helpline answered almost 40,000 calls in Ireland in December last year, with more than 50 volunteers answering over 1,150 calls and written contacts on Christmas Day alone.
Landmarks across The Midlands Counties are also lighting up in green to mark the Longest Night, to show people Samaritans are here for them during the long dark nights.
The 170 year old Railway Bridge crossing the Shannon in Athlone, is among those turning green on Monday, December 21 - the winter solstice – to support Samaritan’s Christmas campaign.
Aisling Curley, Athlone & Midlands Branch Director said: “It has been an unprecedented year with the pandemic affecting so many people’s health and wellbeing and this will be a very different Christmas for many people.
“We know that people struggle more at Christmas, as it’s a time when loneliness can really hit home. We want people to know that we are available 24/7 for everyone on freephone 116 123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
“We also want to thank Irish Rail, our local County Councils & businesses for supporting us on the Longest Night and helping to get the message out that we’re there everyone during the long dark winter nights."
Samaritans in Athlone & Midands are also appealing for funds to support our branch this Christmas. Due to the current restrictions we will be holding our Annual Christmas Concert online this year.
The concert which has been held in the Friary, Athlone every Christmas since 1991 not only marks the start of the Christmas Season for so many, but is also a vital fundraiser for the branch.
Featuring The Army Band of 2nd Brigade with Conductor Thomas Kelly and Simon Casey, the concert will go live on the evening of Friday, December 18 next.
Follow our Facebook page Athlone & Midlands Samaritans for further updates, a link to view the concert on YouTube and information on ways you can donate to enable us to continue to be there for our callers.
Donations can also be made directly to your local branch via the donate link at www.samaritans.org/ branches/athlone/
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