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Tag Archives: Samaritans

GALLERY: President visits Clare branch of Samaritans

PRESIDENT Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina visited the local branch of the Samaritans on the Kilrush Road in Ennis last week, as it celebrated its 40th anniversary. The Samaritans provides confidential emotional support to people experiencing feelings of distress and despair, including feelings that may lead to suicide. The current local director Margaret McMahon said Gardai had been at the branch well in advance of the visit, and around the Tuesday of the week before the Presidential visit it had been confirmed he would be coming. On the day he presented certificates to two of the longest serving volunteers. “One of them, Teresa, is one of the founding members and has 40 years of service, while another one, Mary, has 39 years,” said Margaret. Speaking about the visit, she said that they had shown him their premises, while they found he was familiar with the charity. “We brought him in and showed him our visitors room, the operations …

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Samaritans: loneliness and anxiety heightened during pandemic

ALMOST two years of restrictions helped stem the march of Covid-19, but it undoubtedly came at a cost to many people’s emotional and mental wellbeing. Loneliness was always one of the main reasons that people picked up the phone and rang the Samaritans, and with interaction virtually banned at certain times and severely restricted at all others, it was far worse than ever between March 2020 and January 2022. Margaret McMahon is director the Clare & Ennis branch of the Samaritans and on Monday, she said the pandemic had resulted in more callers. “I think we got more callers and they were coming from a wider range of backgrounds. We would have had students who were not back at home, young people who would have been staying away and there are all the pressures that come with that in a family.” “Particularly in the beginning there would have been people who were trying to keep a long distance relationship together. …

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Jade glad to give something back through epic triathlon

Killaloe woman keen to highlight support she and her family have received from local organisations DONATIONS are still being made to local charities after a Killaloe woman completed a gruelling 250km triathlon in one day. The successful completion of “The Long Way In One Day” by Jade Hoynes (28) has raised €7,341 for the Samaritans and Sejare Adult Respite House. Her original target was €5,000, so she was thrilled to collect more than €2,300 extra for two charities that are close to her heart. “I would have been delighted to raise €5,000. The huge support and kind messages I have received really meant a lot to me. “It was one of the best days of my life. It was a day I will not forget. The support from my family, friends and the charities made the day so much more enjoyable and much easier.” The regular Ironman challenge is a 180 kilometre cycle, 3.8 kilometre swim, and marathon. Just to …

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Busy year for Clare branch of Samaritans

THE Samaritans Ireland impact report has shown very high usage the service, which in Clare answers around 1,600 calls per month. Launched on Friday, World Suicide Prevention Day, the report showed that, nationwide, the organisation answered over 560,000 calls and emails, providing over 100,000 hours of listening support. Margaret McMahon director of the Clare branch, on the Kilrush Road in Ennis, said they had to do without the services of a number of committed volunteers for periods of time last year due to Covid-19. “We had a lot of volunteers who had to cocoon so people just took extra shifts and that was challenging. So many people had to cocoon but they’re all back again, they’re great,” she said. With around 1,600 calls per month coming into the local branch, “The phones are always busy,” she said. Virtually everyone had their lifestyle turned upside down by the pandemic, sending stress levels into orbit, and this was reflected in the calls …

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Samaritans volunteer’s 6,000 mile Listening Walk to arrive in Ennis

A SAMARITANS volunteer raising awareness of the mental health charity by walking over 9,000 kms, or 6,000 miles, will visit the Samaritans Ennis and Clare branch this weekend as part of his tour.  David Matthews is walking to all 201 Samaritans branches across Ireland and the United Kingdom to show people how a Samaritans volunteer is always there for them, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. David has been a Samaritans volunteer for 12 years. He will arrive in Ennis at approximately 4pm on Saturday and will be overnighting in Ennis before making his way onto the Limerick branch of the Samaritans. His Irish walking route, dubbed The Listening Walk will visit: Drogheda; Newry; Portadown; Bangor; Belfast; Ballymena; Colerain; Derry; Omagh; Sligo, Athlone, Galway, Ennis, Limerick, Tralee, Cork, Waterford, Kilkenny, Arklow and Newbridge. He will finish in Dublin in late Sept / early Oct. Margaret MacMahon Ennis Branch Director said, “David has been an inspiration for Samaritans volunteers and callers and we can’t wait …

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Lighting up for Samaritans on longest night

AHEAD of the ‘Longest Night’ of December 21, Samaritans Ennis and Clare are reminding those in need that their helpline will be open during their darkest hours if they are lonely or struggling to cope this Christmas. Volunteers on the 24-hour-helpline answered almost 40,000 calls in Ireland in December last year, with more than 50 volunteers answering over 1,150 calls and written contacts on Christmas Day alone. Landmarks across Ireland and Ennis and Clare are lighting up in green to mark the Longest Night, to show people Samaritans are here for them during the long dark nights. Áras Contae an Chláir and Samaritans Centre, Sunville in Ennis are among those turning green on Monday, December 21, the winter solstice, to support Samaritan’s Christmas campaign. We are calling on local businesses and others to do the same. Margaret MacMahon Director of Ennis Samaritans, said, “It has been an unprecedented year with the pandemic affecting so many people’s health and wellbeing and …

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Lockdown call rise for Samaritans

EVERY day people go into the Samaritans centre on the Kilrush Road in Ennis and take calls from people in different levels of distress, some of them at risk of suicide. When Covid-19 struck, it placed at least some stress on everyone, while it was particularly difficult for some people to cope, and problems of loneliness and isolation were made more acute than before. It made the service the Samaritans are offering even more valuable than it had been but it posed some new challenges for the organisation, which director Gerhard Terpelle feels have been quite well handled. “I think we are doing fairly well. Of course we are affected by the virus a little bit, like everybody else. Some volunteers had to stay at home when the first phase started; they were over 70 and things like that. “The other volunteers were very generous with their time. Some did two or three and even four duties a week. That …

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Fundraising cycle for Samaritans surpasses target

A FUNDRAISING cycle in aid of Samaritans Ennis and Clare last weekend has raised over €1,700 with donations still coming in. Last Friday Ennis man Peadar White took on a 12 hour cycling challenge from his home. He told us he has been “delighted” with the response to the fundraising effort. “It was a great day. I had hoped to reach €1,500 but we’ve already gone over that and more is coming in. It’s great to see so many people supporting the work of Samaritans here in Clare.” Donations can be still be made online at www.idonate.ie/PeadarWhite12HourCycle or send a cheque to Ennis Samaritans, Sunville, Kilrush Road,Ennis County Clare. 

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