THE Pendle branch of Samaritans says it is ready to help anyone struggling or feeling lonely this Christmas.

Its volunteers will be amongst around 1,500 expected to answer calls on Christmas Day from increasing numbers of people worried about their wellbeing.

Christmas will be a tough time for some even without a global pandemic to deal with, says the charity, as its latest research reveals that being separated from family and loved ones over the Christmas period is one of the biggest concerns facing callers.

Victoria Haworth, branch director at Pendle Samaritans, said: “We know that Christmas can be difficult for many people, as it’s a time when loneliness can really hit home and that this might be heightened this year. Regardless of what happens with Covid restrictions, we want people to know that confidential support is available 24/7, and that we are there for everyone this Christmas.

“Every call for help is answered by a trained volunteer and talking to us is always free and confidential. Samaritans has never been a more vital lifeline. If you can make a donation to support our work this festive season, you’ll be helping to ensure that we can be there to listen not just on Christmas but throughout the year.

“And if you find yourself struggling this Christmas, please remember you don’t have to face things alone. You can talk to us, day or night, on 116 123 or by emailing”