Samaritans team up with Dublin Bus to mark 24/7 and always being there to listen

Published on Friday, July 24, 2020

24 July is used to highlight that Samaritans volunteers are here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Dublin Samaritans marks its national awareness day this Friday, 24 July, in partnership with Dublin Bus. The annual awareness day, which is one the most important in the charity’s calendar, celebrates the 24/7 nature of the service provided by Samaritans volunteers across the country. 

Because of Covid-19 constraints, a normal awareness day is not possible this year. Instead, the Dublin branch, which is marking its 50th anniversary this year, has partnered with Dublin Bus and media agency TBWA to create a physical and digital awareness campaign. The Lord Mayor of Dublin Hazel Chu launched the campaign at a special function at the NMI at Colllins Barracks at lunchtime on Friday 

To support the day and raise awareness, a specially commissioned Dublin Bus will carry the Samaritans messaging and helpline details 116 123 on a specially created T-Side. The bus will travel through various city locations and the T-Side will also form the creative for an innovative social media campaign specially targeting young people to remind them that “Samaritans are here for you every day, 24 hours a day.”

Samaritans Ireland’s 2,300 trained volunteers have witnessed a significant growth in calls in recent months, with increases in feelings of loneliness, isolation, anxiety and suicidal feelings reported by people who have contacted Samaritans. While COVID-19 has been a challenge for Samaritans, the charity’s volunteers have ensured that they have been available to their callers throughout the pandemic and lockdown.

Volunteer Director of Dublin Samaritans, Anne Vaughan said: “Our volunteers have been a much-needed source of support for so many during the pandemic and these uncertain times. The restrictions have had a huge impact on everyday life for many people. We want to create as much awareness of our services as possible and let people know if they are worried, anxious or struggling for any reason that they don’t have to struggle through it alone. Our freephone number 116 123 is available 24/7. We are really delighted to be partnering with Dublin Bus and appreciate their help in increase awareness of our 24/7 availability, especially now when loneliness and anxiety are increasing.” 

Commenting at the launch of 24/7 and the Dublin Bus ad and social media campaign, Lord Mayor of Dublin Hazel Chu said “It’s great to see two institutions who both serve the community so well coming together with such a great initiative to let people know that there is always somebody there to listen. The pandemic has caused lots of challenges for many people and help with emotional well-being and mental well-being is going to be critical going forward.”

Speaking about the partnership, Phil Donohue, Dublin Bus Head of HR and Development said:“As a large employer of frontline employees, we are extremely aware that supporting their well-being is essential during the coronavirus crisis. As part of this, we have promoted our internal well-being programmes and created awareness of the supports that are available for employees. This initiative, with Dublin Samaritans, now provides us with the opportunity to highlight the supports that are available to our customers and the wider public in Dublin who need help and understanding to look after their mental health during this particularly challenging time.”

Brian Higgins, a volunteer with Samaritans, said that “while increasing awareness is paramount, fundraising is also an important element of our awareness day. Though the service is primarily maintained by volunteers, funds are still needed to run it. You can contact your local Samaritans branch to help raise funds or log onto your local branch’s website to make a donation.”

Samaritans

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