Samaritans given millions of pounds of bankers’ cash to help armed forces
Budget announcement reveals charity will receive £3.5m from Libor fines to create a programme to help armed services personnel
Samaritans will receive £3.5 million over the next three years to offer support to armed forces staff and their families.
The mental health support charity was awarded the cash from the Libor fund – the fund set up to hold fines paid by banks following the rate-fixing issue – in chancellor George Osborne’s budget.
Samaritans will set up a programme that helps military personnel, veterans and their loved ones identify when someone may need emotional support, and access to Samaritans’ services more easily, whether they are in the UK or stationed overseas.
We rely on men and women in the armed forces to put their lives on the line to keep us safe
The programme will be made up of three elements: a digital service offering men and women at home and abroad access to confidential support by text, email and instant messaging; an online training service for military personnel and their families in listening skills, giving them the confidence and expertise to encourage each other to open up when life is tough; and face to face training to create listening volunteers within the forces, who will be available night and day for colleagues who need to talk about difficult thoughts or feelings.
Samaritans chief executive Ruth Sutherland has welcomed the funding announcement, she said: “We rely on men and women in the armed forces to put their lives on the line to keep us safe. With this funding, Samaritans can share its expertise with the military so that those serving or leaving the forces and their families are better equipped to deal with their unique circumstances, as well as the day to day struggles that we all face.
“Samaritans has the scale, reach and knowledge to help people deal with life’s challenges. We will be giving service men and women vital skills in listening and supporting others that they can use in their careers and later in their civilian lives.”