Shrewsbury Samaritans able to listen in comfort thanks to Alan Ward generosity

Volunteers at Samaritans in Shrewsbury will be able to listen in comfort to those in need - thanks to a donation of two new reclining chairs.

The team, based at Swan House in Coleham, spend many hours on the phone, listening to people who call up for help.

But the volunteers were finding their old chairs very uncomfortable, which made it hard to concentrate for long periods of time.

Alan Ward in Shrewsbury, this month celebrating 45 years as Shropshire’s largest family-owned furniture store, came to the rescue and donated two fabric reclining chairs with footstools to provide the ultimate comfort for volunteers.

Jane Muscroft, Shrewsbury Samaritans volunteer, said the chairs had made a huge difference to the volunteers.

She said: “A colleague of mine was doing an overnight duty on a long phone call and she was so stiff and sore afterwards, she could not move so we really needed to do something.

“Alan Ward was the natural choice when we thought about new chairs and we were thrilled when they kindly donated them to us as part of their 45th birthday celebrations. It’s absolutely marvellous. The chairs are deeply upholstered, they recline and they have footstools.”

Mrs Muscroft said it meant the world to the 50 plus people who volunteered at the centre.

She said: “It means they can focus entirely on the caller because they can relax and be comfortable, even if the call lasts an hour-and-a-half or longer. We do four to five hour shifts in twos and most people will have one or two longer calls in that time.”

Mrs Muscroft said she hoped the chairs would be the start of a full refurbishment plan for the centre.

She said: “It’s a 1930 house, which apparently used to be a pub. We have had furniture come together from all over the place and made do for years but we want to go for a full refurbishment next year. We want to have a comfortable environment as people are providing a volunteer service.”

Kathy Lesser, marketing manager at Alan Ward, said the Ennerdale Road store was delighted to help the Samaritans’ volunteers.

She said: “The volunteers spend several hours in the chair listening to people in distress and therefore often save lives.

It was clear they were desperate for new furniture and it was important it was good quality and comfortable.”

For more information about Alan Ward visit www.alanward.co.uk or email [email protected]. Follow them on Twitter @AlanWardFurn and Like their page at www.Facebook.com/AlanWardFurniture.

If something is troubling you, get in touch with Shrewsbury Samaritans on 01743 369696 (local call charges apply) or call the national telephone number on 116 123 (toll free).