We’d love to see as many people as possible signing up to Run Reigate helping to raise vital funds for East Surrey Samaritans. Our volunteers are available 24 hours a day, every day of the year, providing emotional support for people who are finding life tough.

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Every day, Samaritans responds to 10,000 calls for help.

We’re here for everyone and anyone who needs us. If you’re in need of support, you can contact our free, confidential helpline, from any phone on 116 123 (the number won’t show up on any bill) or by emailing jo@samaritans.org.

Findout  how and why one of our fantastic runners David, is supporting The Samaritans at Run Reigate this year.

My name is David and I have been a runner for many years, initially to keep fit for playing hockey, but it has become much more important to me over time. I run for many reasons, but the primary one is my own well-being. I ran my first half-marathon in 1988 (Wimbledon) and my first marathon in 2000 (Stockholm). I think that was also when I first ran for charity and raised several thousand pounds, as I was working with many well-off (but also very generous) city bank workers. It is very rewarding to know that your effort is benefiting a worthy cause, though it never actually seems to make me run faster ☹

The RunReigate Half-Marathon is one of my favourite races – I have completed it every year (except for the virtual one last year) and am very keen to keep that record going as long as possible – I am 57 so hoping for many more of them. It is my local race, and East Surrey Samaritans is the local branch of the charity that I volunteer for. I have been a listening volunteer for 5 years now, manning the phones to talk to those who are suicidal, in emotional difficulty, or just need someone to offload to. It is immensely rewarding and I would encourage anyone to take a volunteering role (at Samaritans, or elsewhere).

I have now raised money for East Surrey Samaritans on a number of occasions (most recently running the Virtual London Marathon during the pandemic). I was really chuffed to be joined then by quite a few people I know from Reigate Priory Parkrun. It was a grim rainy day and they got me through it. While I am here, a quick plug for Reigate Priory parkrun … whether you are a walker, a runner or want to volunteer you will get a wonderfully warm welcome (once we are back, which should be soon). Look out for us in Priory Park, Reigate at 9am on Saturday mornings.

I do have a fund-raising page for Samaritans, so if you would like to contribute, or you wish to pass it on to people you know, here it is: http://uk.virgingiving.co.DavidNeuman.

East Surrey Samaritans has managed to keep operating throughout the pandemic, thanks to the fantastic commitment of its volunteers and generous support of the public.

Now, as we come blinking into the sunlight, out of the latest lockdown, the need for our services continues. To ensure we’re here for everyone who needs us, we need to recruit, train, and develop more listening volunteers. Contributions from Run Reigate will enable us to maintain and expand our services, as well as allow us to engage with our local community, in schools, businesses, railways, NHS and prisons.

We know a lot of people are currently struggling, and the wide-ranging effects of the pandemic will be felt for a long time.

Help us be there for the people who need us right now.

Sign up to Run Reigate, get fundraising and enjoy your training. Good luck!

If you would like to support your local Samaritans branch, please get in touch.  For more info’ visit: www.samaritans.org/branches/reigate