BARNSLEY Samaritans has called the lockdown the ‘biggest challenge’ the charity has faced as it continues to spread awareness of mental health across the borough.

The branch, on Pitt Street, was forced to cancel all Samaritans events across the borough due to social distancing guidelines.

This has proven difficult for Samaritans to continue to reach out to the local community during what could be a difficult and challenging time for many.

The volunteers, alongside Barnsley Council and the Barnsley Clinical Commissioning Group, set up awareness signs in parks across the town which displays the helpline number - calling it the ‘Park Project’.

The charity has also supplied local foodbanks and Tesco supermarkets with leaflets and cards for people.

Grant Fieldsend, from Barnsley Samaritans said: “Samaritans is a unique charity dedicated to reducing feelings of isolation and disconnection where our trained listening volunteers provide emotional support to anyone in emotional distress and who are struggling to cope.

“We want to be that first call when life becomes a struggle and not seen as the last call like is so often though of when you think of Samaritans."

If anyone is struggling to cope, call Samaritans on 116 123 or alternatively you can email us on