Samaritans volunteers to offer face-to-face support to Dublin Pride goers

Volunteers from Samaritans will give face-to-face emotional support at Dublin Pride this weekend to those in need or struggling to cope.

Samaritans Pride, stock image
Image: Alexander Grey

On the occasion of Dublin Pride weekend, volunteers from charity organisation Samaritans will provide face-to-face emotional support to all participants and visitors in distress or that are struggling to cope.

Members of the Samaritans Festival Branch will be on duty on Capel Street Bridge to support and listen to those in need from 7pm on Friday and from 10am on Saturday, both days until the early hours of the morning.

Thousands of people are expected to join the festival over the coming days, and while there will certainly be a celebratory atmosphere in Dublin, for some the weekend may be challenging.

Samaritans volunteer and Festival Director, Tony Leech, said: “Events like the Dublin Pride Festival are designed to be fun and enjoyable occasions for both participants and visitors. However, for some people, it can be lonely and isolating to be in a festival atmosphere where they may be overwhelmed by feelings of loss and despair because of what may be happening or has happened in their lives.”

In general, the Samaritans Festival Branch attends about eight festivals each summer and assists hundreds of people every year. At last year’s Pride, the volunteers ended up supporting almost 120 different people. Tony shared that he believes in the saying that “a burden shared is a burden halved”.

“We know that many people, particularly young men, tend to bottle up their emotions, fearing they may be judged, be thought different or weak, be misunderstood or be ostracised.


As Samaritans, we know from experience that it is helpful to talk and share feelings. We are trained to listen. We do not advise. We do not offer solutions. We give people time and space to talk, to express their feelings, and we help them to explore options in dealing with any issues facing them,” he said.

This year, Samaritans volunteers will also take part in the Dublin Pride parade with other organisations as part of the We Act group.

“By being present in Dublin we want to give the message to anyone suffering feelings of despair that we are there to listen and to provide face-to-face support in a non-judgemental way.” Tony Leech commented. 

The Samaritans’ presence on the streets of Dublin will complement the freephone helpline and email service. Anyone struggling can call the Samaritans on their  free-to-call number 116 123 available 24 hours a day, seven days a week – or email [email protected]

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