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Project information

Central London Samaritans

For 24 hours every day Central London Samaritans provides confidential emotional support for anyone experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which could lead to suicide. We all go through difficult times and in our lives and and talking can begin to make sense of them.

This work is on-going

Charity information: Samaritans

Samaritans logo
  • Need


    Last year, Central London Samaritans received and supported:

    • 110,252 telephone calls
    • 6,507 text messages
    • 2,247 emails
    • 4,363 face to face meetings at the branch
    • 215 face to face meetings outside of the branch

    Of these, 43% were men and 55% were women (2% were recorded as unknown). Almost 11% expressed they had previously had (or were currently experiencing) suicidal feelings; 2.2% had strong suicidal feelings and firm plans; and 0.2% were suicides in progress.


    As well as providing 24 hour support every day of the week, our volunteers pro-actively reach out to at risk groups to ensure that they are aware of our service. Throughout the coming months we will work on projects supporting homeless people and rough sleepers, offenders, children and young people, young men, and Londoners bereaved by suicide.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Continue to offer confidential support to Londoners 24 hours a day.


    » Our team of trained volunteers will answer phone calls, texts and emails 24 hours a day, as well as offer face to face meetings from 9am-9pm daily.

    What success will look like

    Success will be receiving over 135,000 contacts in 2012, which is a 10% on what we were able to achieve in 2011.

    Aim 2

    Expand 'Feet on the Street' service, offering support in areas where homeless people gather.


    » CLS is delivering training to St Mungo’s hostel staff to equip them with active listening and suicide awareness skills.
    » We will continue to have a similar structured partnership with Crisis at Christmas, offering emotional support to those attending Crisis centres.

    What success will look like

    Success will be growing the number of homeless people/ rough sleepers we support from 215 to 400 over the next three years.

    Aim 3

    We aim to improve offenders' access to help and support.


    » Increase the amount of prisoners we train and support as prison listeners, so they are able to offer support 24 hours a day to fellow inmates.

    What success will look like

    Success will be a continued reduction in suicide in prisons as every prisoner is offered access to to talk to a trained prisoner listener.

  • Impact


    This project will work to improve the overall access to emotional support, improving the mental health of Londoners. Success will be demonstrated through a reduction of suicide overall but especially in schools, prisons, and on the railway. Under the co-ordination of Samaritans central charity CLS will work to have a greater presence in priority project areas, working to target 'at risk' groups, to raise awareness of our service and break down any misconceptions regarding who can use the service


    Ensuring that anyone who may need us is aware of and able to contact Samaritans is always a challenge. We tackle this in a number of ways. CLS strategically distributes publicity materials that target high risk groups. These materials are designed to engage different audiences and encourage contact with the service. The branch also proactively and reactively delivers talks about the Samaritans service and/or our many different programmes with high risk groups in London.


    Donors of this project will receive a twice yearly email reports, highlighting key achievement, future plans and any major set backs to the work.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £444,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £51,000 Management and governance Staff and auditing costs etc
      £76,000 Recruitment and training of vo Includes 1.6 FTE staff
      £260,000 Core service delivery Includes 3.5 FTE staff, building costs, administration, stationery, phone bill, volunteer travel
      £57,000 Outreach co-ordination and del Cost of all outreach work in London

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Trusts/ Foundations £52,000 Guaranteed
    Corporate £23,000 Guaranteed
    Major Donor £15,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The branch’s ‘catchment area’ is the City, Kensington and Chelsea, Camden, Islington, Westminster, Tower Hamlets and Hackney. These areas see a diverse mixture of residents, commuters and tourists-our service is available to anyone who should need it.


    Anyone wanting confidential emotional support in London will be able to use our service. Specific outreach work will target secondary school children in over 20 schools, to receive talks or emotional support following a suicide over the next three years. We offer our prison listener scheme in HMP/YOI Holloway and HMP Brixton and Central London Samaritans will continue to create a greater presence at railways around London.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Samaritans is the only charity offering 24 hour support 7 days a week. Since we took our first phone call in 1953 the charity has gown to 201 branches around the UK and ROI, and responded to over 5 million contacts in 2011. Central London Samaritans is our largest branch and has a proven track record and reputation in improving the mental health of Londoners. Last year our volunteers at the branch were able to support over 120,000 contacts.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Our Volunteers

    CLS's services are entirely delivered by 470 volunteers - if we paid them, it would cost the branch an additional £1.4 million every year.