3 January 2018

Samaritans and Child Bereavement UK are thrilled to have been selected as the Bank of England’s Charities of the Year 2017/18.

Each Summer, Bank of England staff are invited to nominate charities to become one of its two Charities of the Year. The prestigious organisation chose Samaritans and Child Bereavement UK; this is the first time the two charities will be coming together.

Every six seconds somebody contacts Samaritans for help and their team of 20,000 volunteers offer a safe space to talk, for those struggling to cope. Last year the charity’s 201 branches responded to 5.7 million calls for help across UK and Ireland.

The money raised by Bank of England staff will go to ensuring that Samaritans can continue to offer their lifesaving service 24 hours a day. Funds will go to selected branches to make updates to technology to ensure calls and emails come through without issue and branches can run day to day as smoothly as possible. This means Samaritans can always be there for those who needs them most.

Ruth Sutherland, Samaritans CEO, said: 

When someone is feeling overwhelmed, it’s vital that they are listened to and supported to work through difficult thoughts and feelings. With our confidential 24-hour service, available 365 days a year, we are often the only place people can turn to, especially when other services are unavailable. We look forward to working with Bank of England and hope together we will be able to raise awareness of Samaritans and promote the power of listening. Together, we will save lives.

Child Bereavement UK is a national charity which supports families and educates professionals when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement.

Child Bereavement UK’s Chief Executive, Ann Chalmers, said:

When a precious baby or child dies, or when a child experiences the death of someone important in their life, lives can be shattered. But with the right support, families can begin to rebuild their forever-changed lives. We are grateful to the Bank of England’s support which will help us reach many more bereaved children, young people and families through our helpline, website and family bereavement support services across the UK.

Bank of England’s Chief Operating Officer, Joanna Place, said: 

Every year we ask our colleagues to nominate and vote for the charities we will support through fundraising and volunteering. Year on year our colleagues take our charities to their hearts, raising funds through events such as bake sales and marathons, to shaking buckets in Bank tube station and singing carols. We are proud to be partnering with Samaritans and Child Bereavement UK this year – two fantastic charities that do so much to support those going through difficult times and look forward to raising vital funds they need.


Notes to Editors

For further information or interview requests, contact the Samaritans press team on 0203 621 5144 or [email protected] 

About Samaritans:

  • Samaritans responds to more than 5.7 million calls for help every year, offering emotional support by phone, email, text and face to face in its 201 branches across the UK and Republic of Ireland. For more information, please see samaritans.org.
  • Our specially trained volunteers provide non-judgmental emotional support to anyone who is finding it hard to cope.
  • It’s kind donations from the public that fund Samaritans emotional support services. Our volunteers respond to more than 5.7 million calls for help every year.
  • You can contact Samaritans in confidence at any time from any phone for FREE on 116 123, even from a mobile without any credit, and the number won’t show up on your phone bill. Or you can email [email protected] or go to samaritans.org to find details of your local branch.

About Child Bereavement UK:

  • Child Bereavement UK supports families and educates professionals when a baby or child of any age dies or is dying, or when a child is facing bereavement. Every year we train more than 9000 professionals, helping them to better understand and meet the needs of grieving families.

Contact: [email protected]


National helpline: 0800 02 888 40