Former Wolves player and member of the Rotary Club of the City of Wolverhampton Mel Eves learned that Wolverhampton Samaritans were inundated with enquiries regarding stress and anxiety as a direct result of pandemic lockdown measures.
Many of the calls being received were from people with thoughts of suicide concerning themselves or someone close to them. November alone saw a huge increase in calls to 1065. Not all the calls were from people feeling suicidal – many felt lonely and isolated, worried about their families, especially about the effects of Covid 19, and feeling angry at the situation they found themselves in.
The Samaritanservice is run by volunteers, but there are substantial overheads such as rental costs to be met.
So Mel and the club decided to raise money for this essential service by organising an online raffle of a signed Wolverhampton Wanderers team shirt. An initial target of £500 was set and this was quickly reached. The target was then increased to £1000.
The draw for the shirt, which was made by Rotary club President Brian Bailey, took place on the 1st. of February and the winner was keen Wolves supporter John Wakefield of Stafford.
On receiving the telephone call from Mel Eves to say he was the winner, John was so delighted that he immediately made an additional donation taking the final total to a remarkable £1205.
John said “What a worthy cause. My Mum called the Samaritans when I was a young boy, so I know at first hand what a great service they provide.”
On hearing the news of the amount raised, Anne from Samaritans said “on behalf of the volunteers at Wolverhampton Samaritans I would like to thank Wolverhampton Rotary Club and in particular Mel Eves for all their hard work and generosity in raising the fantastic sum of £1205 with their project involving a signed Wolves shirt. I would also like to thank the 74 people who supported the project. The money raised will ensure that our hard working volunteers will be able to support the increasing number of callers who are in need of emotional support for at least a month.