Coffee morning to raise funds for Samaritans

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On Saturday January 19, from 10am to 12.30pm, a coffee morning will take place in Banbridge’s Old Town Hall, to raise much needed funds for the Samaritans.

Ian Burns, one of the organisers of the event, said: “It is very concerning that Northern Ireland has the highest rate of male suicides, within the United Kingdom. This is an issue which needs addressing and one which requires a Strategy, to be put in place. Whilst I like the idea of our local Assembly producing a strategy, it is vital that this statistic is reduced, drastically.”

Ian’s wife Beverley lost a family member over 20 years ago, through suicide. Beverley commented: “our family knows only too well the pain and heartache which family and friends endure, following such a tragic loss. For many years, you ask the question why. You also wonder, if only they had engaged with someone, and that person had been able to offer some glimmer of hope, which resulted in them not pursuing their course of action.

“There have been a number of suicides in our town recently and since the Samaritans are a wonderful organisation, who offer a tremendous telephone helpline service, we thought that it would be worthwhile to try and raise some funds, for this great charity.”

The Samaritans’s vision is that fewer people die by suicide. They believe that it is time to look beyond the statistics and into the real lives of these people, so that they and others, can find ways, to reduce any unnecessary deaths. The Samaritans know that when people are in crisis, talking can help that person.

Beverley added: “if the money raised at this event, can fund just one phone call to the Samaritans and the Samaritan at the other end of the line is able to provide some hope and results in one person not proceeding with their plan to take their own life, then this event will have been very worthwhile.

“I would appeal to anyone who is facing difficulties, no matter what they are, to call the Samaritans on 116 123. The Samaritans volunteers provide a listening ear, 365 days per year and you can call them any hour of the day, or night,”

If you are able to help out in any small way, by baking a few scones/tray bakes or by just coming along to have a cuppa and a scone and to give a donation, the organisers will certainly appreciate your kindness.