Samaritans gear up for busy time at Christmas

NHS organisations give advice on where to get treatment this winter

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THE Samaritans’ Portsmouth branch is preparing for a busy time.

The group, based in London Road, answered 40,000 calls for help last year and many of its 90 volunteers will be on duty taking calls around the clock.

Volunteer Chris is retired and married with two children.

Chris said: ‘When I started volunteering in 1988 I wanted to give something back.

‘My own life was going well, and I was in a fortunate place.

‘I have wonderful family and friends, but I’ve always been aware of the pressures on people who might not be able to share problems.

‘This time of year can increase feelings of loneliness, people may be in “strained” family situations or may have overspent.

‘For most of our shifts, we are very busy answering calls and e-mails, and it is a privilege to be able to help.’

Help Samaritans be there to answer every single call this Christmas by texting ‘SUPPORT’ to 70123* to make a £3 donation.