Mobile giant Three UK has signed three-year partnership with Samaritans with the aim of tackling the nation’s escalating mental heath crisis triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic and to connect 1 million people to support they need.
Samaritans reports that over a fifth of the calls to its helpline have referenced coronavirus in the past year, and Samaritans’ volunteers indicate that the pandemic has affected all callers in some way.
The partnership between Three and Samaritans is aimed at addressing these challenges, by using its technology, retail stores and expertise to help more people access emotional support, 24/7, 365 days a year.
Over the next three years, the two organisations will expand support services, powered by Three’s network and technology, along with bespoke training, resources and fundraising initiatives to support the wellbeing of the nation.
This will extend the support that Samaritans already provides to people across the country. Over the past year, Samaritans volunteers have helped maintain its 24/7 service, with volunteers clocking up almost one million hours listening to those who are struggling to cope during the pandemic.
Samaritans chief executive Julie Bentley said: “The last 12 months has challenged everyone’s resilience and we’re proud to be there for anyone struggling to cope. Our partnership with Three UK will help Samaritans to meet new and evolving demands for support as we emerge from these uncertain times and focus on the long-term impact of the pandemic on the nation’s wellbeing.
“Three UK shares Samaritans’ belief that staying connected with each other is a vital way to look after ourselves and our loved ones. This partnership will further drive our efforts to help more people and we can’t wait to see what we will achieve together.”
Three UK chief commercial officer Elaine Carey added: “For decades, Samaritans has been a lifeline for people across the UK, and never has their support been more important than during the past year. We are delighted to be partnering with them to extend their reach, using the Three network and brand to encourage those struggling to speak up and seek help.
“This partnership marks an important step in our journey to deliver better connectivity, every day for every customer. Our work with Samaritans is one way in which we’re investing not only in technology but using the power of human connection to make people’s lives better.”
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