Samaritans 'Talk To Us' campaign launch

Date published: 29 July 2020

Rochdale, Oldham and District Samaritans has launched its annual ‘Talk To Us’ campaign to raise awareness of its round-the-clock emotional support services and to encourage people to get in touch if they need support.

The branch has continued to provide emotional support throughout the pandemic at a time when listening to others has never been more important.

Since lockdown in March, Samaritans volunteers suggest that one in three callers talk about coronavirus with many people feeling more anxious and distressed than before the pandemic. Volunteer surveys which gathered over 3,000 responses, also found the most common concerns related to coronavirus are around loneliness, isolation, mental health and illness, family, finances and unemployment.

Branch director at Rochdale, Oldham and District Samaritans, Moyra Purves said: “Our volunteers have been working day and night to be there for anyone who is struggling in these uncertain and challenging times. Lockdown restrictions have had a huge impact on everyday life for many people, as we’ve been hearing over the past few months, and our volunteers have been a much-needed source of support for those whose networks haven’t been available during the pandemic.

“Our outreach work and fundraising activity remains on hold across the country until further notice, but we hope that the public can continue to support us in any way they can, to ensure that our volunteers can continue to be there for anyone struggling to cope.”

The branch is encouraging the local community to show their support.  Four volunteers from the local branch have taken on the Samarathon challenge this year and will be running, walking, staggering and possibly crawling towards the end in order to complete 26.2 miles in total over the month of July. 

Jean Casey, who is taking part, said: "I think it’s safe to say that we cannot be described as professional runners!  We have, however, battled stumbles and falls, injured toes and contended with driving rain, not to mention high winds (the usual height of summer July weather). We are a determined bunch though and we are all battling our way through, braving the highs and lows with a smile and gaining sponsorship and funds for our branch along the way.

"Thanks to everyone who has sponsored us so far and to all the people who are doing this challenge on behalf of Samaritans we are truly grateful."

For more information on how to get involved visit or join in the conversation on social media using #TalkToUs.

Anyone can contact Samaritans for free any time from any phone on 116 123, even a mobile without credit, or you can email:

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