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Project information

Samaritans Connect

Samaritans Connect is an integrated communications system which will enable us to connect our callers to our volunteers in the shortest possible time. It will deliver phone, email and text calls to volunteers via one technology platform – enabling us to respond to many more people in distress

January 2011 - January 2014

Charity information: Samaritans

Samaritans logo
  • Need


    Samaritans’ current communication system is a patchwork of outdated technologies which don’t connect with each other. This fragmented system urgently needs replacing because it cannot cope with the demand for our service. Last year 280,000 calls received an engaged tone when, in most instances, there was a volunteer waiting to listen.


    We will create a pioneering new contact system to ensure those in need who call don’t receive an engaged tone because of outdated technology but get through first time, every time. It will do this by bringing together our calls, emails and text services under one umbrella, guaranteeing that our listening volunteers have the best tools to carry out their vital work.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To have the ability to connect callers to voluteers in the shortest possible time


    » An intelligent, bespoke, but user friendly system which will integrate our phone, email and text functions and be implemented in all 199 branches

    What success will look like

    Success will be more people supported both now and in the future and most crucially the potential to reduce suicide and help save more live

    Aim 2

    To better support volunteers by providing them with the right tools to do their life-saving work


    » Allowing volunteers to better understand all callers in particular repeat users of the service

    What success will look like

    Success will be responding to our callers in a way that they want to be supported and reaching out to more vulnerable young people through the use of appropriate technology

    Aim 3

    To provide us with data to allow us to better plan and to develop the service with callers in mind


    » The real time data that this system provides, in line with our strict confidentiality policy, will allow us to both grow and show imapct

    What success will look like

    Success will be a service that is truely led by callers needs that empowers all those who call us for support

  • Impact


    Our aims our challenging, but the relevance of our work in these dark times is clear. We believe offering support to people in emotional crisis warrants this kind of technological investment. This crucial project needs to go ahead so we can continue our life-saving service. Without these vital improvements to our communications technology, we will not remain relevant. This project will ensure that Samaritans can meet demand today and enbale us to be there into the future 24/7, 365 days a year


    Risk: Difficulty in funding a technology project as part of a capital appeal

    Mitigator: Talking to as many supporters as possible about this project and fundraising through a variety of forms


    - 6 monthly update report highlighting progress & detailing in-depth finances
    - A chance to ask technical questions to our Project Manager
    - An annual face to face update with our Appeal Committee and/or CEO
    - An opportunity to become a Benefactors and have a chance to shape Samaritans future

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £750,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £710,000 System build & integration A bespoke design and implementation in all 199 branches
      £40,000 Resource, training, fund A project officer (16 month contract), Initial training for all volunteers, branch hardship fund

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Supporters of the Chad Varah Appeal (funded the telephony platform) £700,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    UK wide across all of our 199 branches, supported by our 18,750 volunteers


    Samaritans receives over 5 million contacts per year from people from all walks of life from young people, to the homeless, returning service people, to heads of business. More recently, we are receiving more calls about financial worries (1 in 6) but people also contacts us about relationships breaking down, loss of a loved one and a multitude of other stressfull life experiences.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Samaritans have over 59 years of giving emotional support to those in distress and in reducing suicide.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Marilyn Huckerby- Samaritans Connect Project Director

    For effectively managing the project from planning to implementation and ensuring that the Charity gets the right solution & the best value for money


    For creating a winning bid by understanding our organisation and our values and by offering an innovative solution at a very competitive cost

    Our Volunteers

    For giving up their time to provide a vital service that if paid for would cost £56m. For being forward thinking & supporting this crucial technology

There for everyone

There for everyone


to give emotional support by phone, email or text