PEOPLE thinking about taking part in voluntary work are being encouraged to attend a charity’s information evening in Darlington this week.

The local branch of the Samaritans is urging members of the community to attend the event on Wednesday (December 5), at 7pm, at its Woodland Road headquarters.

A further event will be held at the same location, at 2pm, on Sunday, December 16.

The Darlington and District branch of the Samaritans currently has 76 volunteers, with more recruits always needed.

Samaritans offers round-the-clock emotional support for anyone feeling down, depressed, anxious or unhappy.

The confidential service is offered by phone, email, text, letter and face-to-face.

Branch director Liz McAllister said: “There is a wide range of roles available to suit people with different skills - from taking calls to our helpline, to providing administrative and IT support or organising fundraising activities for the branch.

“By working together to support people struggling to cope, our branch is a rewarding place to spend your time, as not only do we offer expert training and continuing mentoring, but the support we give each other, while we support callers, is outstanding.”

A recent addition to the roster of volunteers said: “Choosing to volunteer with Samaritans was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

“It’s an amazing opportunity for personal development and growth too, as, you discover things about yourself, as a Samaritan, that you weren’t previously aware of.”