St Helens Mind are keen to recruit more male volunteers for their befriending service after shock figures revealed the town has the highest rate of male suicides in England.
The statistics released in June by the Office for National Statistics show that from 2014-16 male suicides accounted for 27.1 per 100,000, compared with the England average of 15.3. Men are three times more likely to take their own lives than women.
The charity has a number of men they are struggling to help due to a lack of male volunteer applications. The befriending service provides support for people in the town who feel isolated or alone because of the effects of mental illness.
A Befriender is a person who can be there for someone; to listen to them and give them some time when it is most needed.
Manager Gill Ellison said: " We aim to match people to volunteers with whom they may share an interest, or a hobby. We take into consideration, age, experience and more importantly what the individuals tells us they would like to gain from having a Befriender."
In return for your time and emotional support the charity provides training, support, guidance and expenses to cover travel and social activities.
As well as providing much needed support for someone who really needs it, volunteers can gain a great deal from the experience; confidence, experience, skills, friendship, satisfaction and support from a close team.
"Volunteering with St.Helens Mind helps me feel connected to the local community
and helps me achieve a sense of self-worth."
Graham, St.Helens Mind Volunteer
“It provides me with satisfaction and respect thatI am valued by my client and am making a difference to his life. The Befriending Service provides him with
a regular lifeline that he values very much”
Richard, Befriending Volunteer