Online Archive  
Issue 3 - March 1972
Down here in Stockton and Teesside I am very anxious to start a group for helping people with their social problems. Present day life needs a more dedicated and practical approach to the realities of people's problems than the Samaritans have.

Mention loneliness. The majority only think of the old who are lonely and by themselves. But the young too suffer constantly from loneliness - because you don't see them, because they are not labelled lonely, because there appear to be no symptoms, they are forgotten. NOT ANY LONGER.

One of these young people rings up the Samaritans and what happens? "Well, have you tried joining something … a youth club, the YMCA, the Scouts?"

Oh, for pity's sake, Samaritans! Anyone who has been lonely knows how much use that it; it just causes further embarrassment. Recently a Samaritan told me that they will go somewhere with a person to help him make friends, if he wishes. But believe me, when people ring up the Samaritans, they are not told that.

I don't want to oppose the Samaritans … every bough may yield fruit, but I wish to help much more practically. I believe that we must all pool our experience in order to solve these problems together.

Keep your eyes open and you'll see lonely people of all ages in the cinemas, in the park, in the church at the back (when did the church ever help anyone?), or in the folk clubs and in the pubs, trying to drown their sorrows.

This is just one problem that needs attention. There are many more that a group such as I am trying to start will tackle - with vigour and with determination. To do this it must have like-minded energetic people. Maybe the lonely and the reserved themselves will respond best to this challenge and emerge as having the best qualities for the task.

So I challenge anyone, especially on Teesside, to drop me a line, tell me what you think of what I have written, and if you can help in any way. I want to meet you, and the sooner the better. DON'T YOU THINK?


(Contact Stuart H Smith - address on Graffiti page)