Samaritans mark a branch milestone

Pictured with long serving and retired members of the group are Ian Lavery MP , Alan Fowler ,castle Morpeth Mayor and Director of the Branch Sue Towers

Pictured with long serving and retired members of the group are Ian Lavery MP , Alan Fowler ,castle Morpeth Mayor and Director of the Branch Sue Towers

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A life-line charity for people in crisis across Northumberland has celebrated 40 years of service.

Samaritans of Northumbria, which takes calls round-the-clock from people in emotional distress, released 40 balloons at its Ashington headquarters on Saturday to mark the milestone.

The branch currently has 40 volunteers, each giving 16 hours a month to man the telephones and respond to emails from people facing bereavement, financial hardship, unemployment, health problems, loneliness or other issues. Each year they take about 4,000 calls and answer around 1,000 emails.

Attending the celebration was Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery, Morpeth Mayor Nic Best, who is supporting the branch as his chosen charity, and founder volunteers.

Mr Lavery said: “The Samaritans do a fantastic job not just here in Northumberland, but right across the country, and we owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude.”

For volunteering information call 07474 864441, or email rich132011@live.co.uk