Lancaster MP Cat Smith reopens Samaritans shop after flooding

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Lancaster Samaritans’ charity shop reopened this week, more than eight months after it was badly damaged in the floods caused by Storm Desmond.

Lancaster MP Cat Smith officially reopened the shop by cutting a Samaritans ribbon.

She said: “After eight months closed following the flood damage it’s my pleasure to be able to officially reopen the Samaritans shop in Lancaster.

“The fundraising brought in through the shop ensures that Lancaster and District Samaritans can play a huge role in offering this 24/7 listening service to anyone who contacts the Samaritans.

“It’s no exaggeration to say this charity is a lifeline to those in need and I’m pleased to see Lancaster Samaritans rising from the floodwaters stronger than ever and looking to recruit more volunteers for their shop.”

Jenny Dighton, director of Lancaster and District Samaritans, said: “It’s fantastic to see the shop back in businesses. It’s a greatly improved shopping environment and it’s all thanks to a huge number of volunteers and supporters who have worked tirelessly for the last eight months.

“Thanks, too, to all of those who have recently donated pre-loved items to ensure we opened with some fabulous new stock.

“We had an exceptionally busy first day of trading, the busiest we can remember, and we encourage everyone in the community to continue to support us in the coming weeks and months.”

The shop, in Damside Street, is the charity’s main source of funding and, essentially, pays to keep the Samaritans branch running to takes calls and offer emotional support to people in distress. Volunteers are now still urgently needed to allow the shop to be staffed full-time.

Anyone interested in working just a few hours per week, particularly on Thursdays, Fridays or Saturdays can email samaritans.lancaster@hotmail.com or drop into the informal information evening in the Sun Street centre from 6pm-7pm on the last Tuesday of each month.

Anyone in distress can talk to Samaritans any time they like, in their own way and off the record, about whatever is getting to them.

To contact Samaritans you can call for free on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org round the clock, every single day of the year.

You can also call into the branch during their opening hours at 21 Sun Street, Lancaster.