Swindon Listening Line service 'desperate for help'

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A phone helpline for distressed people in Wiltshire could run out of money within months, its founder has warned.

Listening Line in Swindon costs £40,000 a year to run but only has funds in place to continue the free and confidential service for six months.

Ann Mooney, who set it up five years ago, said: "At the moment we are desperate for any help. Anything really to keep such a life-saving line going."

She said the service takes more than 80 calls and texts a night.

In the past it has been part-funded by Swindon Borough Council, but that support ended in January after a review decided other charities - such as SANE and the Samaritans - were providing a similar service.

Mrs Mooney said the Swindon service differed from these as it only has three phone operators who become known and trusted by the callers, and they are able to call on the ambulance service and police for help when needed.

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