Aug 2012 Speaker Marilyn Cuthbert - the Samaritans

Mon 13th August 2012

The work of the Samaritans. Speaker Host John H.

Cambridge Samaritans exists to provide confidential emotional support to people in distress or despair in the city and surrounding area.Cambridge Samaritans - 4 Emmanuel Road, Cambridge, CB1 1JW

Their volunteers respond to an average of 50 calls a day, by phone, email and face to face. Approximately one in five callers has considered ending their life.

The Cambridge Branch, one of the 201 Samaritans Branches around the UK and Ireland, was founded in 1962. They are an independent local charity and rely on the support of local volunteers and donors to operate. If you would like to receive more information about their work in the Cambridge area, please email

"The Director of The Samaritans, Cambridge, Marilyn Cuthbert, used her skills in communication to keep the club a hushed audience for the length of her talk, illustrating "true listening" - the essential skill required by all vounteers receiving calls through The Samaritans network.

Well over 100 volunteers work in Cambridge Samaritans and there is a constant need for more volunteers, particularly as Cambridge tends to have a higher than usual movement of families who come to work in the area for only a few years before moving elsewhere.

There are 201 branches of The Samaritans in the British Isles, all open 24 hours a day. Contact from distressed people needing a sympathetic ear has traditionally been by telephone, but many callers are now using email and, more recently, the Samaritans' volunteers have had to receive training in text messaging skills.

Marilyn said how satisfying it was to come across instances of people who had sought help from the Samaritans several months or years ago and who were now so grateful when looking back. One interesting fact has been that the calling rate during the 16 days of the Olympics has been noticeably lower than the norm - perhaps we all benefit from such powerful and praiseworthy distractions?"

- report from John Helmsing.