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"Samaritans was started in 1953 in London by a young vicar called Chad Varah, who worked in the city parish of St Stephen, Walbrook in the City. During his career he had offered counselling to his parishioners, and he increasingly wanted to do something specific to help people in distress who had no one to turn to... The Rev Jim Blackie became the director of the second Samaritans branch, in Edinburgh with around 118 volunteers. It took its first call on 1st June 1959. Several month later, there were also branches in the other major Scottish cities of Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee. The first centre in Ulster was opened in 1st November 1961 by Rev Bill Thompson." [1]



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  1. History, organizational web page, accessed June 26, 2012.