Listening not judging helps five million lives a year

PATRICK Hall spoke to members of North Kelsey WI at their recent meeting about the work of the Samaritans.

Founded by Chad Varah in 1953 in central London, the self-funding, secular charity has now grown to 18,500 volunteers.

Their reach is worldwide, but the telephone is not as widely used; last year there were 180,000 e-mails. Text messages are often used by children.

Last year, there were five million calls.

Scunthorpe has a branch, founded by the Rev Jim Oliver in 1963, and currently has 51 volunteers.

Volunteers are found all over Britain - from 436 in London to 14 in Stornaway.

Mr Hall thought their main task was to listen and not speak, to share the anguish and not judge.

The business part of the evening included making plans for a walk involving the whole institute,to walk from Kelsey to Howsham,a necessary cup of tea at Claytons Corner and then back over fields arriving back at Kelsey via Little London Lane.

Congratulations were given to Debbie Hunt and Leila Sutton for passing their Level 2 Food Safety Certificate.

Members were told that as well as dialling 999 if needed, they could also dial 112 on a mobile. This provides instant location to speed up action.

The last part of the business included planning the August meeting, which will be a fundraising evening with different stalls and interesting things to eat - an evening to go along and see what the WI is like.

The evening ended with Sue Creasey winning the competition for a badge and Margaret Flippance the Flower of the Month, with a purple clematis.