The Henley Carol Singers have once again sung together, and collected for a local charity, as they have done for over twenty years. Conducted by Wendy Hawkins this group of friends are all members of local church choirs or the Henley Choral Society.
This Christmas-time, their eight concerts entertained guests at dinners and parties in and around Henley including the Golden Ball in Lower Assenden on 22 and 24 December (pictured above) over the last month and this year were in aid of Samaritans of Bracknell, Wokingham, Ascot and Districts branch and raised a record amount of £2,600.
The Samaritans receive over 5 million telephone calls a year, as well as texts, emails and personal visits from those in the depths of despair. Every six seconds, somebody contacts them, so ten times a minute, they try to help someone turn their life around. This service, which is run entirely by volunteers, is available round the clock, every single day of the year, supporting anyone who needs them through 201 branches across the UK and Republic of Ireland. Over six thousand people take their own lives each year, and suicide is the biggest killer of men under 50 and of young people in their 20’s and early 30’s.
To achieve their vision that fewer people die by suicide, the Samaritans try to alleviate emotional distress and reduce the incidence of suicidal feelings and behaviour. They are available 24 hours a day to provide emotional support for people who are struggling to cope, often in the middle or night, when staff from other agencies are not available.
Nick Tuggey, a volunteer of Samaritans of Bracknell, Wokingham, Ascot and Districts branch, who sang at several of the concerts himself, thanked Judy Whittaker on behalf of Henley Carol Singers for the “huge sum” they have raised for the Samaritans this Christmas.