James was joined by Southend West candidate Anna Firth to present Southend Samaritans with a hard-earned cheque for £1,591.
The MP for Rochford and Southend East raised the money from sponsorships last October for running the London Marathon, and named the Samaritans as a worthy recipient.
“I wanted to show how appreciative I am of the work all those at Southend Samaritans carry out. At a time when so many people are in need of emotional support, they ensure that those who contact them at any hour are listened to and helped. I know that this can make a real difference to their lives”.
Ann Hawkins, Vice Director of Southend Samaritans, said:
‘We are very grateful to Mr. Duddridge and all who support our local Branch here in Southend, where we strive to support those who have emotional struggles in these difficult times.
"These will be people of all ages and all backgrounds in our area and it is a credit to the area that we have over 90 volunteers between our Branch in Victoria Avenue and in the charity shop in Hamlet Court Road. Mr. Duddridge’s donation will help considerably to keep us available for people who reach out to us, perhaps in their darkest hour."
The Southend branch of Samaritans does not have any paid members of staff and is run solely by volunteers, each giving their time to listen and provide emotional support for those in need.
The Samaritans say that although suicide is complex, and rarely due to a single cause, there is a link between economic downturn and suicide.
In January 2021, one-in-five 18-24-year-olds who were in work before the pandemic were no longer working, compared to four percent of 25-54-year-olds. Samaritans volunteers have described callers fearing becoming part of a lost generation and the charity’s previous One Year On report has shown young people, especially young women, experiencing significant deterioration in their mental health since the coronavirus hit.