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Patron honour for Samaritan stalwart

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By Zac Hannay
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Patron honour for Samaritan stalwart

A LONG standing volunteer with Dumfries Samaritans has been granted the honorary title of patron of the branch.

Barbara MacLure, 83, did the first ever shift at the Dumfries branch on March 1, 1980.

She said: “In the early days you didn’t tell anyone you were a Samaritan.

“Night duty was frequent and volunteers had a mattress on the floor with a phone next to them and if needed they would go out and vist the person who had called.”

After nine years she became the local chairperson and continued to take calls as a listening volunteer right up until the start of the pandemic.

Furthermore, Barbara was instrumental, along with her late husband Malcolm and other volunteers, in purchasing the property in Loreburn Street which became the Samaritans main hub in South West Scotland until they moved to a new premises in October 2021.

She first became involved with the charity after a meeting with Chad Varah, Samaritans founder and a friend of her father, which sparked her interest.

Congratulating her, Ann Stephenson, Dumfries branch director, this week said: “Barbara’s legacy is there for all to see and I am delighted we can now formally acknowledge all that she has done for Dumfries Samaritans by her becoming a patron of the branch.”

Julie Bentley, CEO of Samaritans presented Barbara with the award in Dumfries. The visit came after a new Strategic Delivery Plan for Scotland was launched on Monday by Samaritans Scotland.

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