Opening of new Samaritans garden in Kingsway Gardens

People, Health and Care
14:41, Wednesday, 28th July 2021

A beautifully-planted garden dedicated to the work of the Samaritans has been officially opened at Kingsway Gardens in Scunthorpe.

The circular flowerbed at the centre of the Green Flag gardens has been replanted by North Lincolnshire Council and renamed Kingsway Samaritans.

The opening took place on 24 July to reflect how Samaritans are available 24/7.

A specially commissioned noticeboard details the history of the Samaritans and the life of its founder, Barton-born Chad Varah.

As well as providing a striking welcome to anyone entering the town, it is hoped the garden will offer a welcome spot for relaxation and contemplation.

The opening was attended by Scunthorpe MP Holly Mumby Croft, Leader of North Lincolnshire Council Rob Waltham, Director of Scunthorpe Samaritans Angela Jones and local Samaritans volunteers.

Coun Waltham said: “This is a beautiful garden in one of our showpiece parks, and I am proud of the way the council works with charities and voluntary groups to achieve such fantastic outcomes.

“Samaritans provide a literally life-saving service, and this is one way we can show them our support and appreciation. I encourage everyone to come and see this lovely garden for themselves and read about the history of this incredible organisation.”

Angela Jones said: “North Lincolnshire Council has created another amazing space for the residents of Scunthorpe, and I am delighted that this has been dedicated to Samaritans.

“The last year has been a challenging time for everyone and I am proud to be able to open this garden, which offers a space for all to come and spend some time with friends and family to talk or to take some time for quiet moments of reflection.”

Volunteer Rachel Johnson played a role in the development of the garden.

She said: “Open spaces can play a role in renewal and wellbeing. The garden can provide people with an opportunity to reflect and talk with friends – I think there is a synergy between gardens and Samaritans.

“It also highlights our local connection and is another opportunity to promote what we do in a public space.”

The garden features a central yucca surrounded by four cypress pencil trees and a circle of acers and magnolias. The edges include trailing bedding plants and the whole bed is framed with 450 roses.

The Samaritans are available 24-hours a day, seven days a week, if you need someone to talk to who will listen without judgement or pressure.

They were founded in 1953 by Chad Varah, who was born in Barton in 1911. The Scunthorpe Branch of The Samaritans opened in 1963 and Chad’s brother Hugh was the first director.

There are now 200 Samaritans branches across the UK and the Republic of Ireland and more than 20,000 volunteers.

The Samaritans respond to around 10,000 calls for help every day, and people using the helpline report a significant reduction in distress.

The Scunthorpe branch, based on Lindum Street, has no paid staff and more than 70 volunteers.

Contact Samaritans on 116 123 free from any phone or 0330 094 5717 (local call charges apply), email jo@samaritans.org or go to Samaritans.org if you need help or are interested in volunteering.