Manx Telecom support secures Samaritans’ helpline for Isle of Man branch | January 2021

Manx Telecom is pleased to announce its support for the Isle of Man Samaritans and its lifesaving telephone helpline over the next three years.

Date: Wednesday 13 January 2021

The announcement comes as Manx Telecom prepares to celebrate Brew Monday on Monday 18th January.

The third Monday in January is often known as Blue Monday however Samaritans are turning this day into something positive by encouraging people to get together over a warming virtual cuppa. Iarla Hughes, Manx Telecom Chief Financial Officer, will kick off the virtual event for Manx Telecom staff with a short chat on the importance of reaching out, checking in and staying connected.


Iarla Hughes, Manx Telecom Chief Financial Officer.

Samaritans provides a free listening service for anyone struggling to cope and is dedicated to helping prevent death by suicide. The telephone service is available day or night, 365 days a year for those who feel they are reaching crisis point and have nowhere else to turn.

Samaritans is busy 24 hours a day and this hasn’t changed since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, with more people feeling anxious and stressed about Covid-19 as well as related issues such as isolation, mental ill-health and unemployment.

As a charity, Samaritans usually relies on fundraising to cover the cost of the telephone service but Manx Telecom has now stepped in to provide a grant which will cover the cost of the telephone line rental until 2023. The company is also extending its highest tier service level free of charge which means any faults will be prioritised and resolved urgently including outside of normal working hours.

Commenting on the initiative, Mr Hughes said Samaritans’ work was a vital lifeline for local people: “For those who are feeling desperate, or who just need a kind ear to listen to them, Samaritans offer a non-judgemental, no-pressure approach that can make all the difference to how they are feeling. Whether it is day or night, having a chance to talk to someone frankly and confidentially can help people work through their problems and realise they are not alone.

“We are delighted to provide this support to the Isle of Man branch and wish to express our gratitude to all the volunteers who make the 24/7 service possible.”
Gary Leeming, Branch Director of Isle of Man Samaritans, said: “Every life lost to suicide is a tragedy, and Samaritans' vision is that fewer people die by suicide. Our research shows that the pandemic and the lockdown have particularly impacted three groups of people at an already high risk of suicide: less well-off middle-aged men, young people who self-harm, and people with pre-existing mental health conditions.

“Isle of Man Samaritans is extremely grateful to Manx Telecom for its generous financial support which will secure the telephone service for the next three years. The reliability of our telecoms service and priority assistance in the event of any technical issues are fundamental requirements for a listening service that needs to be available to our callers at any time of the day or night.

“The Isle of Man branch is part of the UK network and we have nearly 70 local volunteers who help man the helpline on a regular basis. Nationally, we answer a call every seven seconds on average and it’s these moments of connection between people that can save lives.”

• If you’re finding life difficult and need to talk to someone confidentially you can ring the Samaritans free on 116 123.

Further information on #BrewMonday and the campaign by the Samaritans can be found here.