THE Samaritans of Warrington, Halton and St Helens have announced its new patron.

Julia Tickridge, the Labour Party parliamentary candidate for Weaver Vale, serving Runcorn, Northwich and Frodsham, has previously volunteered at the Chester branch and was delighted to step up to the role.

The Samaritans provide a listening service via phone, email, SMS and face to face, for those who need emotional support.

A spokesman said: “Whilst the Samaritans are both non-political and non-religious, we welcome such an energetic and supportive patron who can provide invaluable insights on how to develop the service to meet the needs of those people it supports.”