Kind-hearted St Albans commuters dig deep to raise £1,000 for Samaritans

PUBLISHED: 19:00 05 September 2018

St Albans City Station. Picture: Danny Loo.

St Albans City Station. Picture: Danny Loo.

Archant

Kind-hearted St Albans commuters have dug deep in their pockets to raise over £1,000 for Samaritans.

Members of St Albans Commuter & Passenger Action Group have reported that the recent disruption on Thameslink services has affected their mental health.

This gave member Rob Skepper the idea of donating the Delay Repay compensation travellers receive for delayed trains to a mental health charity and the group chose Samaritans.

They have now raised over £1,000 by donating sums equivalent to the Delay Repay they received to the charity, but on top of that they have also donated other sums, such as the equivalent of a day’s train fare.

One of the group’s volunteers, Danny Clare, said: “Daisy Cooper [Lib Dem candidate] put this group together to bring about change in our rail service, but since its inception it has become a community.

“We have had a lot of reports about stress and anxiety from the group and I think people are very affected and mindful of mental health issues in the local area.

“Owing to recent events, one of our members suggested raising funds towards a mental health charity. We chose Samaritans, who receive a call every six seconds and do wonderful work in the area.”

The group is aiming to raise £1,800 for Samaritans, which would keep their helpline open for eight hours.

A spokesperson from the Samaritans said: “Samaritans’ 20,000 volunteers are available anytime, free from any phone, on 116 123, and via email, jo@samaritans.org or face-to-face at 201 branches in the UK and Ireland. Samaritans recruits and trains 3,510 volunteers a year.

“It costs £5 for a Samaritans volunteer to be there to help someone struggling to cope, and £46 to train and support a new volunteer for a year.

“Samaritans training is delivered by volunteers, and takes 63 hours over more than six months.

“It costs £5,000 to keep Samaritans’ helpline open for 24 hours, and £208 to keep the phone line open for one hour.”

To help the commuters’ efforts visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/stalbanscommuters and to find out more about the Samaritans visit www.samaritans.org

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