Three UK and Samaritans join forces to connect 1 million people to emotional support

31 March 2021: Three UK has today announced a three-year charity partnership with Samaritans to connect 1 million people to emotional support.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the UK population’s mental health as Samaritans reports that over a fifth of the calls to its helpline have referenced coronavirus in the past year, and Samaritans’ volunteers indicate that the pandemic has affected all callers in some way.

Three UK is partnering with Samaritans to address these challenges, leveraging its technology, retail stores and expertise to help more people access emotional support, 24/7, 365 days a year.

Over the next three years, Three UK and Samaritans will expand support services, powered by Three’s network and technology, along with bespoke training, resources and fundraising initiatives to support the wellbeing of the nation. Further details on Three UK’s specific areas of support will be revealed later in the year.

This will extend the support that Samaritans already provides to people across the country. The dedication of Samaritans volunteers has meant that the charity has maintained their 24/7 service since the start of lockdown, with volunteers clocking up almost one million hours listening to those who are struggling to cope during the pandemic.

Elaine Carey, Chief Commercial Officer at Three UK said: “For decades, Samaritans has been a lifeline for people across the UK, and never has their support been more important than during the past year. We are delighted to be partnering with them to extend their reach, using the Three network and brand to encourage those struggling to speak up and seek help.”

“This partnership marks an important step in our journey to deliver better connectivity, every day for every customer. Our work with Samaritans is one way in which we’re investing not only in technology but using the power of human connection to make people’s lives better.”

Julie Bentley, Chief Executive Officer at Samaritans said: “The last twelve months has challenged everyone’s resilience and we’re proud to be there for anyone struggling to cope. Our partnership with Three UK will help Samaritans to meet new and evolving demands for support as we emerge from these uncertain times and focus on the long-term impact of the pandemic on the nation’s wellbeing.

“Three UK shares Samaritans’ belief that staying connected with each other is a vital way to look after ourselves and our loved ones. This partnership will further drive our efforts to help more people and we can’t wait to see what we will achieve together.”

Notes to Editors

Media contacts:
Three UK:  /  07454959715

Nithiya Gnanathas  /  07485345486

1. Volunteer insights are based on 6 surveys with Samaritans listening volunteers carried out between April 2020 and January 2021. Findings of the surveys cover the period of first nine months of the coronavirus restrictions (March – December 2020).
2. Figure includes calls to Samaritans’ helpline through all available channels including calls and emails

About Three UK

Three UK launched in 2003 as the UK’s first 3G only network, laying its foundations as the network that was born to be different. Today Three UK is a connectivity company that connects people to people, people to things and things to things and has 9.5 million customers.

An average Three UK customer uses 3.5 times more mobile data than the industry average and its network today covers 99% of the UK population.

Three UK launched 5G in August 2019 and also has the UK’s leading 5G spectrum holdings with more than the rest of the industry combined. Three is the only operator able to meet the International Telecoms Union (ITU) 2020 standard for full 5G services.

Three UK is the official shirt sponsor of Chelsea FC men’s and women’s teams.

Three UK was voted the Best Network for Data at the Mobile Choice Consumer Awards, as well as Best Network for Roaming by uSwitch, and the Best High Street Retailer at the Mobile Industry Awards.

Three UK is part of the CK Hutchison Holdings Ltd group of companies which has mobile operations in 11 countries. We employ around 4,000 people across our offices in Reading and Glasgow and our 311 retail stores.

About Samaritans

Samaritans is a charity and it’s the public’s kind donations, corporate partnerships and more than 20,000 volunteers that mean we are always there for anyone struggling to cope.

Anyone can contact Samaritans FREE any time from any phone on 116 123, even a mobile without credit. This number won’t show up on your phone bill. Or you can email or visit for more information.

Every seven seconds, Samaritans responds to a call for help. Find out how you can support us or volunteer with us.

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