Samaritans to turn Blue Monday into a happy day

BLUE MONDAY: Publicity shot from Samaritans. Picture: Rose Atkinson

BLUE MONDAY: Publicity shot from Samaritans. Picture: Rose Atkinson

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Samaritans in Wakefield are aiming to turn the bleakest day of the year into a happier event by recruiting more volunteers.

The Wakefield and district branch hopes to transform Blue Monday (January 18) into ‘Happy Monday’ by encouraging more people to volunteer.

DON'T DESPAIR: The Samaritans are only a phone call away.

DON'T DESPAIR: The Samaritans are only a phone call away.

Cold weather, together with broken resolutions and post-Christmas credit card bills, have seen the day called the most depressing of the new year.

But the help group says there is no real science behind Blue Monday and they have decided to give the idea the boot in favour of a more positive new year message.

Branch director Jayne James said: “A new year is a great time to reflect on what you can give, and there’s no better way to do that than to volunteer. At Samaritans we have a range of roles to suit people with different skills, from becoming a listening volunteer, helping with admin, fundraising or our IT.

“If you’re interested in volunteering in the community and at events, we have exciting roles too. Our volunteers are people from all ages and backgrounds and not only do we offer expert training and support, there are plenty of social activities too.”

Jo, who started volunteering six years ago at the Wakefield and district branch, said: “Finding out about volunteering with Samaritans is one of the best things I’ve done. You’re all part of a team and the training is thorough and really interesting. You’re never on your own – we all have a mentor and ongoing training too. For me, it’s been an opportunity for personal development too - you discover things about yourself as well as gaining new skills. And being there just to listen to people who feel they have no one else to turn to is such an important thing to do. I feel I get just as much out of my volunteering with Samaritans as I put in.”

For anyone interested in learning more about becoming a volunteer, the next information session will be held on Saturday, January 23 at 3pm. For more details email: WakefieldSamaritansRecruitment@outlook.com or phone 07539 926150.

You can read about volunteers’ experience on the Samaritans website: www.samaritans.org. Click on the ‘volunteer with us’ tab.