FREEMASONS in Keighley have been giving comfort to Samaritans volunteers who themselves help people in crisis.

The Keighley and Craven District Installed Masters Association (Freemasons) recently donated £500 to refurbish the Samaritans’ regional call centre covering Craven and surrounding district.

Mike Holmes is both the Freemasons’ current Provincial Grand Charity Steward and a former Samaritans volunteer.

He said: “Samaritans’ volunteers provide an indispensable safety net for vulnerable people at a time of great emotional need. They man the phone lines 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

“Seated at a desk for such long periods can be arduous for the more elderly volunteers or those with back issues.

“With the latter in mind, we are pleased that our donation will fund a number of ergonomic chairs to help them through their long shifts, through both day and night.”

During the evening that the cheque was donated, Samaritans trustee Tony King gave a talk on the charity’s activities to Freemasons from a number of lodges throughout the region.

Tony extended the Samaritans’ thanks to the Freemasons for both their donation and the warm welcome he received on the night.

He added: “With suicides in the UK approaching 6,000 persons a year, the tragedy for the individuals concerned, together with the impact on their family and loved ones, makes our work as much-needed now as ever.”