Our final homeless shift of 2019
For many people December and the festive period is a time for friends, family and celebration. But for many people it can be the most challenging time of the year. A time of stress or loneliness and when these feelings are much more acute that usual.
Central London Samaritans is fully aware of the need to be there throughout Christmas time and as such we will again be open 24 hours a day every day throughout Christmas and the new year. Volunteers that come in for shifts on christmas day can experience some very difficult conversations, but also plenty of messages of gratitude from those that really need to speak to someone.
Please remember that your kind donations have helped to keep our service running around the clock, whenever people need to speak to a listening volunteer.
This time of year is also a wonderful time to get outside and be a part of our community. Going outside of the branch is a great opportunity for us. We get to raise awareness of the service we provide and remind people that we will again be open throughout the festive peroiod. And we get to offer emotional support in situ for anyone that would benefit from being able to speak with someone there and then - it's constantly surprising how many times we get the chance to have a really good conversation with someone while we're out and about. And we get top work with some great choirs and musicians while we shake our buckets to raise the valuable funds to keep the service running.
We recently had a wonderful evening at St Pancras station where the brilliant Popchoir sang beautifully for a full two hours while we were able to meet with the public and raise funds and awareness.
And then this week we were at Charing Cross station from 7am to 7pm and were able to bring in soime wonderful choirs and our volunteers had a great time meeting the public.
We also had a lovely evening with our friends at Pianoworks, who are based in Leicester Square and their extremely talented performers sang and played and danced all evening and allowed us to talk about the service we provide while the patrons happily donated valuable funds while requesting songs for the team to perform.
The end of the year also allows us to evaluate how our teams and projects have fared over the year. Our homeless team finished on a total of 1713 conversations with members of our local homeless community at local food drops. We are constantly looking to make sure we support the homeless community as much as possible as we are the only service they can regularly use to access emtional support.
We also ran emotional health workshops for 3,270 school pupils in 2019. This is essential work as young people are more aware than ever of mental health issues. In our workshops we get the pupils to talk to us about the pressures that they feel, the coping mechanisms they use and who they can talk to, both in and out of school. We then talk to them about spotting signs of poor mental health in themselves and their friends and share listeningtips for them so that they can help a friend who is struggling.
As always we are enormously grateful for the kind donations we have received through GlobalGiving. Through donating to Central London Samaritans you are helping our listening volunteers to be there for anyone that needs us, 24 hours a day throughout the festive period and throughout the year.
We wish you happy and peaceful holidays and a prosperous new year.
Entertaining commuters at Charing Cross station