Local Samaritans Volunteers Serenaded at Summer Party

50-gigs-in-50-days singer-songwriter plays for them in Gunnersbury Park

Marie Naffah performing in Gunnersbury Park for the Samaritans
Marie Naffah performing in Gunnersbury Park for the Samaritans

Local Samaritans volunteers had a very special guest at their summer party in Gunnersbury Park.

The Ealing, Hammersmith and Hounslow Samaritans were treated to a performance by Marie Naffah, the young musician who’s over halfway through playing 50 free shows all over the UK from refugee centres in Middlesbrough to garden parties outside Oxford, to sculpture parks in Devon and office balconies in Camden.

She says, “My 50 gigs in 50 days are to give back to those who have missed live performances during the pandemic. For my 34th performance, I’m delighted to have meet Ealing, Hammersmith & Hounslow Samaritans on this wonderful summer evening.”

Heena Johnson, director of Ealing, Hammersmith and Hounslow Samaritans said, “Marie’s performance in these lovely surroundings was just what we needed and a great way to mark the easing of lockdown restrictions.”

Following a number of sell-out gigs in London, Marie was one of thousands of musicians who yearned for live performances during the pandemic. Through her 50-date odyssey she intends to give back to her loyal fan base, champion new material and remind attendees of the power of live music.

Samaritans volunteers listen to Marie Naffah at their summer party
Samaritans volunteers listen to Marie Naffah at their summer party

She says, “We can try and connect all we want through social media, but nothing will ever replace bodies at a live show.”

During the pandemic, Samaritans’ helpline has been an important source of meaningful human connection for some callers in the absence of their usual social contact and volunteers have clocked up more than one million hours listening to those struggling to cope during the pandemic.

Ever since January 1972, Ealing, Hammersmith & Hounslow Samaritans volunteers have provided confidential emotional support to the West London community and beyond. The Branch is a collective effort of some 150 people -- unpaid volunteers from all walks of life who, 365 days of the year, provide confidential emotional support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which may lead to suicide.

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July 28, 2021