As part of an ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic Lodge Fortrose has provided a funding donation of £400 to Samaritans of the Western Isles to train Samaritans volunteers.

Samaritans of the Western Isles is one of 20 Samaritans branches in Scotland and provides emotional support to people experiencing feelings of distress or despair. Like other Samaritans branches, the Western Isles branch is run entirely by volunteers and is responsible for securing its own funding.

Last year volunteers from the Western Isles branch answered over 3,000 calls and replied to over 200 emails and 500 texts from people struggling to cope. Many of the calls currently being dealt with are from people affected by covid-19 and struggling with loneliness and isolation, anxiety and depression and other issues such as bereavement, loss of income and relationship problems.

Diane Hankinson, Samaritans of the Western Isles, said “Samaritans can make a real difference to the emotional well-being of a society struggling through a difficult time. Being listened to, in confidence, and accepted without prejudice can help people to find a way forward. Our aim is to be there for anyone in crisis so that they have somewhere to turn.” 

John Robertson and Angus Allison, Lodge Fortrose, present a cheque for £400 to Diane Hankinson and Don Catterall, Samaritans of the Western Isles