Are you a Good Samaritan?

This was the question posed by Richard Dunnill when he gave a fascinating and moving talk at Oswestry Borderland Rotary.

Most of us know of the existence of the Samaritans but few have any idea of the workings or origins of the service.

In the post-war gloom of the early 50’s Chad Varah, a young vicar in London realised that there was a need for a phone service that people who were feeling desperate could call and share their issues with a patient stranger, knowing that it was non-religious and totally confidential. It was an immediate success – if that’s the right word – and it grew quickly and now has 201 branches in the British Isles. 20,000 volunteers now operate the service as it expands to cover events and festivals and embraces new technologies including email, text and WhatsApp. The service is purely funded from donations and is not allied with government, councils or any religious organisations so if you think you can help as a volunteer or would like to donate, please contact Susan Forgie on 07581-779813.

Pictures: Susan Forgie, Richard Dunnill & Geoff Barre (Borderland President)