Kingston Samaritans is celebrating 50 years of supporting people in crisis, after taking its first call on May 10, 1968.

The charity aims to provide emotional support to people going through difficulties and sometimes who are having suicidal thoughts.

Helen Dixon, director at Kingston Samaritans said: “I am incredibly proud of every Samaritan volunteer that has helped deliver the service over the last 50 years."

Last year, volunteers at the branch answered 21,656 calls, responded to nearly 4,000 emails, more than 2,000 texts and had about 195 face-to-face calls.

Ms Dixon said: "Services like ours are needed now more than ever as the human need to be listened to, supported and helped through difficult times is as important now as it was 50 years ago.

"I would encourage anyone who is struggling to cope to reach out."

The branch also works with schools, the university and colleges, as well as providing support to residents of the YMCA and Wandsworth prison.

And volunteers also raise awareness in the town centre and at local train stations as part of its national partnership with Network Rail.

Mayor of Kingston Councillor Julie Pickering said: “This is a milestone year for Kingston Samaritans and must be recognised as it is a testament to the dedication of its wonderful volunteers.

"They offer a lifeline to people and I wish them luck for the next 50 years.”

Anyone who wishes to talk in confidence to Samaritans can visit the branch, which is open daily from 7.30am to 9.30pm, call 116 123 for free, or email

Kingston Samaritans relies heavily on the generosity of the public. To donate text SAMS45 and the amount to 70070.