Samaritans recommends giving the gift of listening for Christmas About Howard Lake Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world’s first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of GoodJobs.org.uk. Researching massive growth in giving. Suicide prevention charity Samaritans is encouraging the British public to avoid striving for a perfect Christmas this year and have what it is calling a #RealChristmas instead. It argues that listening to people over the festive period could save lives.To help people listen to others in need of support, Samaritans has produced a set of free vouchers that can be given as Christmas presents on their own, or along with staples like chocolates, bubble bath, cuff-links or socks.Each voucher can be personalised and entitles the person receiving it to some one-to-one listening time from the giver. The charity suggests this could be over a coffee, while going for a walk or as part of a night in with a friend watching a box set.The vouchers are available to download for free along with a free guide to having a #RealChristmas. It gives tips on how to be a good listener, what to do when someone doesn’t want to talk, and how to look after yourself as well as supporting others this Christmas.The charity is also inviting donations of £4.26 as another way of giving the gift of listening. That is the cost to the charity of taking a life-saving call.Not everyone has an idyllic Christmas, says SamaritansSamaritans points out that “2016 has been a year of challenge and change for everyone”. Health, family, work, relationships, money issues or feelings of loneliness, isolation or uncertainty could be making life tough for many people. It hopes that its #RealChristmas vouchers will enable more people to open up at Christmas when they might feel these problems more acutely, and ask for the support they need.Christmas can be stressful for many, say SamaritansSamaritans CEO Ruth Sutherland said:“On average, more than 500 people take their own lives in the UK every month and every death from suicide is a devastating tragedy. So, away from the idyllic images and all the hype around the season’s celebrations, let’s get real about how we can save lives, not just at Christmas but all year round. And that’s by listening to how a person who may be having a tough time really thinks and feels.”Keith King has been a Samaritans volunteer for 8 years and will be on the helpline over Christmas. He said: Advertisement AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis26 Tagged with: christmas donated services “Samaritans isn’t saying don’t have a good Christmas this year, but try to put aside the demands of the season and focus on the support you may need or can give. If you can, spend time listening to somebody who needs it. And if you’re the one who’s struggling or feeling overwhelmed, remember you can always speak to someone by calling Samaritans on 116 123. If talking on the phone is tricky, you can email, text or write to Samaritans too. Find out more on our website at samaritans.org. We are always there. Even at Christmas.”Listening is the best gift you can give at Christmas. Howard Lake | 1 December 2016 | News 123 total views, 1 views today 124 total views, 2 views today AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to EmailEmailShare to WhatsAppWhatsAppShare to MessengerMessengerShare to MoreAddThis26
"Samaritans recommends giving the gift of listening for Christmas"