£10K grant for vital mental health support charity

June 28, 2018 | Community News

Pictured left to right are: Joan Cameron; Sheila Ottiwell; Gwen Dean; Matt Lock of the Samaritans and Jeannie Kielty of The Banks Group.

A Hamilton based employer has given a £10,000 grant from its community fund to the Samaritans to support essential renovations to its Hamilton branch.

The Banks Group has given funding for the Hamilton Branch of the Samaritans from the Banks Community Fund, allowing the charity to carry out the necessary improvements to maintain a safe setting for its hundreds of volunteers.

The charity service provides support to anyone struggling to cope in the form of a listening ear and operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year; taking 5.6 million calls, texts and emails each year from people who would like help.

Matthew Lock, head of corporate partnerships at the Samaritans, said: “This donation will enable us to make essential renovations to our branch which will create a safe place for our volunteers to work and help people in need.

“We have 201 branches across the UK each with its own building which enable 20,000 volunteers to support people in crisis so making improvements to the branch is vital.

“We rely on donations from the public and from organisations to keep our service going. Every call, email and text costs £5 to Samaritans and so we are incredibly appreciative to anyone who makes a donation.

“Without grants like the one we have received from The Banks Community Fund, we wouldn’t be able to be there for people when they need us most which is why we are so grateful to have received this donation.”

The suicide rate is higher in Scotland than anywhere else in the UK and the Hamilton branch supports people in both South and North Lanarkshire.

Samaritans is one of the only charities in the area that provide confidential, accessible services to those who would like support.

Jeannie Kielty, community relations manager at The Banks Group, said: “We are so pleased to have been able to help the Samaritans with the essential renovation of their Hamilton branch.

“The work they do to support those experiencing hard times is so important and so to be able to help in building a safe place for their volunteers to work and support the community is great.”

The Banks Group currently has several projects under construction in South Lanarkshire, including the Middle Muir wind farm near Douglas and the Kype Muir wind farm near Strathaven. Both of these wind farms will have community funds established to support local community projects once they become operational in early 2019.

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