Appeal to make Samaritans accessible to all
Eastbourne Samaritans is appealing for funds to install a lift for people with mobility problems.
The Samaritans centre is called The Haven and is located in Bolton Road in the town centre.
Phone lines are open around the clock but The Haven is open from 10.30am to 10.30pm every day of the year to see people in distress, who may or may not be suicidal. This is all staffed entirely by volunteers.
However, this drop-in service, which offers people in distress a chance to talk through their feelings face-to-face, is not currently accessible to anyone with severe mobility problems or wheelchair users.
Samaritans also want to ensure people with mobility issues are also able to take part in the rewarding experience of volunteering for the charity.
The charity wants to install a lift serving all three floors and make internal alterations like accessible toilets and wider doorways throughout.
Ian from Eastbourne Samaritans said, “In short we are making our centre a safe and comfortable place for anyone with mobility problems. We already have a number of people with mobility difficulties keen to join us as volunteers but they can’t yet because they can’t get into any part of the building.
“We have steep steps to the front door of the office and steep steps running down to the call centre. We know that volunteering helps people to feel more positive about their lives, so we are keen to make the centre accessible for everyone.”
The project will cost £125,000. Samaritans has managed to put together £100,000 from donations over a long period and is making this appeal to help raise the final £25,000 to make the project happen and get the lift installed.
To donate to the project visit the website at www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/samaritans-eastbournedistrict/Lift