LAST year more than 90    Samaritans volunteers from Bracknell, Wokingham, Ascot & Districts branch answered 20,781 calls for help, according to the latest figures released by the national suicide prevention charity. Overall, 21,007 volunteers responded to 5,331,295 calls for help in the UK and Republic of Ireland*.

Samaritans’ volunteers are ordinary people, who dedicate time every week to provide a safe space for anyone struggling to cope with whatever life has thrown at them.

Volunteers from Bracknell, Wokingham, Ascot & Districts are also involved in outreach work, for example giving talks, visiting schools, and supporting the neighbouring branch at Reading in running a Listener scheme with a local prison where they select, train and support prisoners to offer confidential, emotional support to other inmates.

Sally, director at the local branch of Samaritans, welcomes the opportunity to celebrate the difference their volunteers make in their local community.



 “I’m so grateful to all our volunteers.  I want to thank them all for their commitment and hard work. It’s great to see how they support people in ways that work well for our callers, on the phone, via email or visiting us in branch.  We know that people who are struggling benefit from having a real person to connect with, someone who is trained to listen to them.

 “Samaritans wouldn’t exist without the dedication of our volunteers.  As well as listening on the helpline, there are lots of ways people can get involved with Samaritans, whether it’s fundraising, marketing, helping with admin or IT, or offering other valuable skills.  We are always looking for new volunteers, so get in touch.

 “Samaritans is available round the clock, every single day of the year.  We provide a safe place for anyone struggling to cope, whoever they are, however they feel, whatever life has done to them.”

 Find out more about volunteering for Samaritans by calling 08705 627282 or emailing for more information.

*Calls for help include all contacts received by Samaritans in the UK and ROI in 2014, and includes helpline calls, emails, text messages and face to face contacts with Samaritans’ volunteers.


  • Samaritans is available round the clock, every single day of the year. We provide a safe place for anyone struggling to cope, whoever they are, however they feel, whatever life has done to them. Please call 08457 90 90 90 (UK) 1850 60 90 90 (ROI), email, or visit to find details of the nearest branch.


  • Volunteers’ Week is an annual event which takes place this year on 1-7 June. It celebrates the contribution made by millions of volunteers across the UK. It’s run by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, NCVO, in partnership with Volunteer Development Scotland, Volunteer Now (Northern Ireland) and Wales Council for Voluntary Action.
  • For more information about Volunteers’ Week, visit: www.


The SAMARITANS Run is as old as the London Marathon!

Did you know that the Bracknell, Wokingham, Ascot and District SAMARITANS Run  is 36 years old and is as old as the London Marathon?

SAMARITANS Run goes from success to success!

This year the Bracknell, Wokingham, Ascot and District SAMARITANS Run was held on Saturday 1st July returning for the first time in over 31 years to Easthampstead Park Community School.  

The School’s generous support of the event was boosted by a special team of teachers and pupils who entered to demonstrate their support of the charity which offers listening services to those in despair, distress and having suicidal feelings.

In total, nearly 500 individual runners from the local community and those representing running clubs, entered the 5 or 10K event raising just over £7,500 which will go a long way to help with the £23,000 annual cost to run the local Branch, which is based in Mount Pleasant, Bracknell.

Race Director, Jackie Holland, explains,  “This year we were lucky enough to receive financial support from local corporate sponsors as well as over 60 volunteers who helped to make the day such an enjoyable event, acting as marshals on the course, cooking BBQ food,  serving teas, coffees and cakes. Next year we are exploring ideas of how to make the event even more successful. This will include encouraging runners to persuade friends and family to sponsor their efforts so we can raise even more funds. This year just 8 people did this and alone they raised an additional £1200.”       

The weather for the day was ideal for running, and many residents in the local area came out of their homes to cheer on weary runners with shouts of encouragement and applause along the way.

Each runner, who successfully completed the course, was awarded a Samaritans Run 2017 medal, in recognition of their efforts, acting as a lovely memento of how their contribution to Samaritans has helped.

Jackie Holland concludes, “We have had some great feedback about the event including one runner who has commented ‘Thanks to everyone who made this such a well-organised and enjoyable run. All the marshals along the route were very supportive and encouraging……..The medals were also of a unique design and I will treasure mine. Thank you and I will be back next year!’   This sums up the spirit of the event and I thank all of those who contributed to making this year’s event so memorable

For those who are reading this and would like to learn more about the run or register interest to enter next year’s Samaritans Run then please send an email to , and your details will be logged and information regarding the 2018 run will be emailed to you when available.

Samaritans offers a totally confidential and 24-hour service of emotional listening support to anyone going through a difficult time. The service is offered by telephone (Freecall 116123), email (, face to face and text. The local branch is run entirely by volunteers and the branch depends solely on donations and fundraising efforts to maintain its service.


APRIL 2018

ADVENTURER and classic car enthusiast Liam Cooper is preparing to walk solo 200k from the source of the River Thames to Windsor to raise funds for Samaritans.

For eight days from 3rd to 11th May he will camp overnight carrying everything he needs for the trip.

Liam, who is a volunteer at Bracknell, Wokingham and Ascot Samaritans, is leaving his classic car behind and pulling on his walking boots.

The former flight engineer for Concorde said: “I’m doing this as a personal challenge and I want to raise funds for Samaritans.  I think most of us struggle with life sometimes and the curved balls it throws. I know some people have it really tough and I want to help them if I can.” 

He is no stranger to big adventures as he has trekked to Everest base camp, climbed Mount Toubkal in the Atlas Mountains, flown a Spitfire and driven a husky dog team.