Every year Festival Branch of Samaritans supports over 7,000 people at festivals up and down the country. Our volunteers provide 24 hour support at a range of events, predominately targeting those who would not normal use our service such as young people, bikers and military personnel.
It ran from 12:00 PM, 1 April 2012 to 12:00 PM, 1 March 2013
In 2009 there was 2,930 suicides amongst 15-44 year olds in the UK, the highest of any age group; 5% of 16-24 year olds attempted suicide compared with 2% of 65-75 year olds (National Office of Statistics); and it has been documented that the UK has one of the highest self harm rates in Europe with 400 cases per 100,000 (Horrocks et al, 2003), with young people being most at risk of self harming behaviour.
With vulnerable young people in mind, Samaritans set up a unique branch nearly 40 years ago, designed to make our support available 24 hours a day at major festivals and outdoor events across the UK. Festival branch mainly attends music festivals like Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds, but they also offer support at other large gatherings, such as dance, biker or surfing events. Festival branch reaches new audiences as most festival goers do not proactively seek out Samaritans.
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