Since Samaritans was founded in 1953 they have relied upon volunteers and donors to maintain the services which emotionally support their callers round the clock via phone, text, email, letter and face to face.
The Bank of Scotland Foundation has supported Samaritans Dunfermline in their service provision and work in the local community with a generous grant for running costs.
This grant has allowed the branch to focus on maximising their work within the community, including programmes in schools and prisons.
Volunteers currently train prisoners in local prisons to be listeners for fellow inmates. This service teaches transferable skills and provides valuable emotional support for prisoners.
Lord Blackwell, the non-executive chairman of Lloyds Banking Group followed up the grant with a visit to the Samaritans of Dunfermline.
Branch director Ged Lafferty, Regional Director Scotland Samaritans Sheila Ottiwell and volunteer Doreen Baird provided an insight into the branch and how they work towards Samaritans vision that fewer people die of suicide.
Ged Lafferty said: “Samaritans of Dunfermline were delighted to welcome Lord Blackwell and representatives of the Bank of Scotland Foundation to the Branch.
“We have benefited from the Foundation in the recent past and we look forward to working closely in the future with the Foundation whenever the opportunity exists.”
Philip Grant, Chair of the Scottish Executive Committee, Lloyds Banking Group and Chair of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees said: “Visiting the Samaritans of Dunfermline was a fantastic opportunity to see and hear first-hand about the invaluable work they do.
“The Bank of Scotland Foundation is proud to support them and their ambition of reducing the number of people who die from suicide in the Dunfermline and West Fife area.”
Based on Townhill Road the Dunfermline branch currently has over 50 listening and support volunteers, but they are always looking to recruit more volunteers and donors to ensure they can continue to offer the service to the local community.