PEOPLE are being called on to step forward and lend an ear as a Samaritan in North Oxfordshire.

Listeners are needed for the charity across the north of the county including Bicester and Banbury to provide support for anyone who is struggling.

The Banbury and District Samaritans group has put out a plea for volunteers as it starts its recruitment process.

Samaritans director William Adams said: "Samaritans Banbury branch has been open for more than 40 years providing a safe place to talk openly for anyone who is struggling to cope or feels there is nowhere else they can turn.

"The work is immensely rewarding and so are the relationships that you build with other volunteers."

The group, covering North Oxfordshire as well as South Northamptonshire and parts of Warwickshire, have launched its recruitment process for the next training sessions in March.

Volunteers would be working in pairs at the Samaritans Centre in Albert Street, Banbury.

Mr Adams added: "Volunteers work flexible shifts, always in pairs, at the Centre in Albert Street.

"A vital part of the service is to be there at all times of day and night, so we do ask that people cover evenings and overnight as well as daytime.

"As the training is intensive, we can currently only offer it twice a year.

The training will start in March with volunteers being selected on February 3, for details contact or online at