Samaritans celebrate 60 years of ‘wonderful, life-saving work’

Samaritans of Croydon and Sutton has for 60 years been providing life-saving emotional support for people who are struggling to cope.

30 years a Samaritan: Bob Stent gives his speech at Saturday’s 60th anniversary event

To mark their anniversary, a celebration took place at the Braithwaite Hall on Saturday, attended by various dignitaries, the speeches recognising the great contribution that Samaritans of Croydon and Sutton have made, and continue to make, on people’s lives.

Volunteer Bob Stent, the branch’s longest-serving member having given 30 years’ service, delivered a talk on the history of Croydon and Sutton Samaritans.

This was followed by entertainment from the London-based band 7Suns. The event was attended by volunteers, both past and present, as well as family and friends.

Samaritans of Croydon and Sutton opened in 1962 and today has more than 80 volunteers who provide non-judgmental, confidential emotional support.

In the last year, the branch’s volunteers have responded to 11,000 calls for help from people struggling to cope.

Chris Allen, branch director for Samaritans of Croydon and Sutton said, “We are very proud to support our local community in Croydon, as well as the people who turn to us for help when they contact Samaritans.

“I have personally been a Samaritans volunteer for almost six years and I am proud to lead our friendly, diverse and inclusive branch.”

‘Significant impact’: MP Sarah Jones

Sarah Jones, the Labour MP for Croydon Central, said, “This is an important moment to reflect on the significant impact that Samaritans of Croydon and Sutton have on our local community. For 60 years, their volunteers have been there for people facing tough times.

“They continue to support our local community here in Croydon at events, schools and businesses. I want to share my heartfelt thanks for all their work,” Jones said.

And Khaleel Miyan, from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Elders Association, congratulated Samaritans of Croydon and Sutton “for their wonderful work over the past sixty years”, saying, “They have worked for all of humanity at the limits of their endurance, including those thinking ultimately of suicide because they cannot cope.

“There has never been a day, even through the pandemic, that Samaritans has not been there to give kindness, hope, love and support to people feeling isolated and alone.

“I commend them for their wonderful work, and the many thousands of lives they have saved over the years. They will always have the support of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.”

Here to help: Croydon and Sutton Samaritans answered 11,000 calls in the past year

The Samaritans respond to a call for help every 10 seconds. The charity has 22,000 volunteers across more than 200 branches throughout Britain and Ireland who are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for anyone who needs support.

To make a donation to help Samaritans of Croydon and Sutton continue this vital work, click here.

And click here to register your interest in volunteering at Samaritans of Croydon and Sutton.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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1 Response to Samaritans celebrate 60 years of ‘wonderful, life-saving work’

  1. Peter Underwood says:

    The Samaritans do such an important and amazing job.

    If you can find time to volunteer for them or donate to help keep them going then please do.

    As we face the crisis our country is in, even more people will need someone to talk to.

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