Plymouth Samaritans use today's date as reminder that they are available 24/7

    The charity's new Director wants to encourage people to get in touch if they need support

    A local branch of a charity is marking today's date as an important day in their calendar.

    Plymouth Samaritans are using 24 July (24/7) as a way of telling people that volunteers are available to listen to anyone who is struggling 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    New Director, Norman Holmes, is keen to raise awareness of Samaritans' emotional help and to encourage people to get in touch if they need support.

    He is also working with artists to raise funds and spread the message.

    So far, Plymouth Samaritans have posted over 100 A5 mini canvasses to artists throughout the UK and are planning to hold an auction of returned originals later this year.

    Since lockdown in March, one in three callers have talked about coronavirus, and the most common concerns relating to it were loneliness, isolation, mental health, family, finances and unemployment.

    In response to this, Norman said:

    "Lockdown restrictions have had a huge impact on many people and our volunteers have been a much-needed source of support for those whose networks haven't been available during the pandemic.

    "Our message is "Talk to us" on any day at any time."

    If any local artist would like a mini canvas to paint then they can contact Norman on

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