IT WAS cake all around on Saturday when a Northwich charity celebrated its diamond year.

Samaritans of Mid Cheshire has become part of the local community and is now one of Northwich’s biggest and oldest charities with 64 listening and support volunteers.

Saturday saw the Manchester Road-based charity – which answered 24,451 calls for help last year - celebrate its 60th year with staff, volunteers and Northwich town mayor, Clr Bob Robinson.

The event was one of many taking place across the UK and the Republic of Ireland as the charity marks 60 years since its founder, Dr Chad Varah CH CBE, took the very first call to the helpline on November 2, 1953.

Since then, the charity has answered more than 115 million calls, with 20,980 volunteers across the UK and ROI who answer more than five million calls each year.

Branch director Maureen Mundey said: “We are really proud that Samaritans has been helping people through difficult times for 60 years, this is a significant milestone for the charity.

“Last year, a call to the service was made every six seconds, showing the need for us to continue to be there is greater than ever.

“People can contact us at any time of day or night. There are many ways to get in touch, including email and text, as well as by phone and visiting the branch to speak to a volunteer face to face.”

Anyone interested in becoming a Samaritans volunteer or who would like to find out more should contact Peter on 07817160598.