July 19 'Freedom Day' not freedom for everyone, says Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield Samaritans

Samaritans branch director Susannah Fenton

Samaritans branch director Susannah Fenton - Credit: Samaritans

Samaritans in Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield are urging people to call them if ‘Freedom Day’ – July 19 – is causing them anxiety or concern.

The message comes as the charity’s annual awareness day – held on July 24 – approaches.

Data collected by University College London's COVID-19 social study shows that although for most people life satisfaction and happiness levels are improving, some groups of people remain lonelier than ever.

Local Samaritans volunteers will be at Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield stations offering support to people around the date July 24 that the charity uses to highlight the fact that its service is open 24/7 – all day, every day of the year. 

They will be at Hatfield on July 23, and WGC on July 23 and July 24.

Samaritans poster

Samaritans poster - Credit: Samaritans

Samaritans branch director Susannah Fenton said: “The UCL study shows that, in general, depression and anxiety are still at the same level they were last autumn.

“It also shows certain groups, such as women, young adults, people living with children or with mental health conditions, and those living in towns and cities all saying they remain lonely.

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“For many people, the final easing of lockdowns will bring great happiness and relief. But July 19 is not, sadly, going to be freedom day for everyone.

"Many people have enjoyed having a reason to stay at home, and they might now be expected to get out more.

“The challenges that many people have faced because of the pandemic are continuing and won’t necessarily ease with restrictions lifting.

“Because of this we want to highlight our service generally and by talking to as many people as we can at WGC and Hatfield stations.”

Every day, Samaritans volunteers respond to around 10,000 calls for help.

Samaritans is a charity and it’s the public’s kind donations and more than 20,000 volunteers that mean it is there for anyone struggling to cope. 

You can support Samaritans in WGC and Hatfield by texting SHUSH to 70085 to donate £3. Messages cost £3 plus your standard network rate.

Anyone can contact Samaritans FREE any time from any phone on 116 123, even a mobile without credit. This number won’t show up on your phone bill. Or you can email jo@samaritans.org or visit www.samaritans.org.