We've entered into an agreement to set up a third-party callback service with the Samaritans South Devon to ensure that vulnerable people are offered the help they need.

From this month, our customer-facing staff have been referring people to Samaritans South Devon with the individual’s consent.

It means that those who need to talk to someone do not need to make the active choice to phone the Samaritans. They just need to answer the phone when the Samaritans call back.

If a council member of staff is speaking to someone during the course of their work who they identify as potentially needing further help, they can ask the person if they’d like a confidential call from the Samaritans.

The council employee will then pass on the first name of the person and a contact number to the Samaritans, as well as two times for them to call back.

Councillor Hayley Tranter, Torbay Council’s cabinet member for Adult and Community Services, Public Health and Inequalities, said: “Many people may be going through difficult times for a number of reasons but may not normally consider contacting the Samaritans directly. The organisation offers anyone struggling to cope the time and space to talk about the issues and problems they face.

“This new service means they don’t have to initiate a call but simply pick up the phone if the Samaritans ring them.

“It will only be done with their consent. Once the council employee has passed the first name and phone number to the Samaritans, no further information will come back to the council.

“It could be a lifesaver for someone in real turmoil.”

Dean Sanders, Samaritans South Devon Director, said: “Samaritans South Devon are delighted to be working in partnership with Torbay Council to offer our Callback Service to local people who are struggling to cope.

“We have around 90 well-trained Listening Volunteers committed to weekly shifts at our Torquay centre. They will make the callbacks and offer emotional support without judgement or pressure, giving people the time and space to explore how they’re feeling.”

Anyone can contact the Samaritans FREE any time from any phone on 116 123, even from a mobile without credit.

Visit the Samaritans for more information


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