Samaritans relaunches as discreet ‘talking’ site

The Samaritans is taking bestselling anti-brand author Naomi Klein at her word by giving users of its website the option to view it with “no logo”.

The relaunched www.samaritans.org, unveiled this week, aims to provide a discreet, safe and reassuring source of information and support to users in distress.

Uniquely, www.samaritans.org will be a “no logo” site, giving users in public environments the option of turning off The Samaritans’ logo to minimise the possibility of attracting attention while seeking support.

Based on the concept of a “talking” website, it hopes to be seen as an intuitive and interactive resource that can direct users to relevant pages by talking them through navigation options.

Designed by Wheel, the site targets supporters, students and professional services, as well as people in need of The Samaritans’ service or those worried about a friend or relative. The site is going live to coincide with the launch of The Samaritans’ Christmas fundraising campaign and replaces its website launched in 1996.

Samaritans chief executive Simon Armson says: “The Samaritans has always used cutting-edge technology to meet our commitment to be there 24-hours a day for anyone who needs us. The new website will enable us to meet even more people on their own territory, and to provide a warm, supportive and non-judgmental space on the Internet.”

Wheel client partner Gord Ray says that the challenge was to find “an engaging look and feel that was not clichéd and did not trivialise the subject matter. The result is a clean, yet warm and engaging site that is intuitive to use.”

This week, The Samaritans launched an appeal for funds to help it during its busiest time of the year.

Calls to The Samaritans’ national number increased by six per cent over the Christmas period last year. The latest National Opinion Poll reveals that financial worries, family pressures and the current world situation will make this Christmas a difficult time for 60 per cent of the population. Almost one in ten people say they have no one to turn to for support when Christmas becomes too much for them.

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