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Privacy Statement

Privacy Statement


We are committed to protecting your privacy and the personal information that we hold. The purpose of this statement is to be clear and transparent about how Samaritans uses your personal information, whether you are using our service, interested in volunteering, making a donation or just browsing our website.


Worried someone will see that you've been on our site?

These are the steps you can take to remove signs that you've been on your site from your computer.


Select 'Private browsing'

Most browsers have a 'private' or 'incognito' browsing option. This means when you're on our site, you won’t leave any traces of your activity on your computer (no history, web cache or anything else) and so it’s a useful first step to take.

Chrome: Click on the 'Menu' button (it has three horizontal lines) – 'New Incognito Window'

Safari: Click on the 'File' button – 'New Private Window'

Internet Explorer: Click on 'Safety' – 'Tools' – 'In Private Browsing'

Firefox: Click on the 'Menu' button (it has three horizontal lines) – 'New Private Window'


Delete your browser 'History'

When you're not in 'private' mode, your browser will automatically keep a record (or 'History') of all the pages go on. You can remove Samaritans' pages from your history.

First, open your 'History':

Chrome: Click on the 'History' option on the menu bar.

Safari: Click on the 'History' option on the menu bar.

Internet Explorer: Press the Ctrl key and H at the same time.

Firefox: Press the Ctrl key and H at the same time.

Secondly, select all entries that say "" and press delete or backspace on the keyboard. (Or select 'All in last hour' on Safari.)

Lastly, if you found us on Google or another search engine, delete your search results from your History too.


Deleting Cookies

A cookie is a small file on your computer that records the sites you visit, cookies are mainly used by advertisers to track your interests and show you targeted content. You can delete all your cookies by doing the following:

Chrome: Click on 'Chrome' – 'Clear Browsing Data'

Safari: Clearing 'History' will clear cookies.

Internet Explorer: Click on: 'Tools' menu – Internet Options. On the General page, under Temporary Internet Files, click on Delete Cookies and then OK.

Click on Delete Files, put a tick in the box labelled Delete all offline content and click OK.

Now look at the top of the window and click on the Content tab, select AutoComplete and finally, Clear Forms.

Firefox: Click on Tools – Options – Privacy – select the Clear button (next to Cache and Saved Form Information)


Worried that someone will see you’ve been on our web chat?


You can turn off notifications at any time by clicking on ‘Notification settings’ at the top of the web chat screen.

A push notification from our web chat service will only ever show the text: 'Your chat is ready', ‘Please click here to begin’ and ‘’ alongside a small picture of two speech bubbles. It won't ever display your messages or messages from us. An audio alert will make a generic notification sound.

Cookies and browser history

To delete cookies and browser history follow the instructions above.



Alongside turning off notifications from us on your device, you can delete the pages from the Samaritans website you’ve visited from your browser history. You can also open a 'private browsing' window, which won't show up on your browser history, for future pages you visit. Read instructions on how to delete pages from your history and open a private browser above.

To clear web chat permissions, which show you’ve been on our web chat website, from your browser, follow these steps:

Chrome - While you have the web chat open, click on the lock symbol by the address bar. Then click on ‘site settings’. On this page click ‘reset permissions’.

Safari - Click ‘Safari’. Then select ‘Notifications’ and chose Click ‘Remove’.

Opera - Click ‘Opera’. The select ‘preferences’. Next click on ‘Advanced and select ‘Privacy and Security’. Scroll down and and clickon ‘Content Settings’. To clear notifications click on ‘Notifications’, select and then click ‘remove’.

(Learn more about our new web chat service, which, for now, is still a pilot.)


Who are Samaritans?

Samaritans offers a safe place for you to talk, any time, in whatever way is best for you.

Samaritans is made up of 201 branches in the UK, the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, some of which are independent charities. The branches are coordinated and supported by Samaritans Central Charity (registered charity number in England and Wales: 219432; and in Scotland: SC040604).

Samaritans Central Charity is also registered as a company under company number 757372, and operates a wholly owned subsidiary, The Samaritans Enterprises Limited, company number 01451175.

Within this Privacy Statement ‘we’ and ‘us’ means Samaritans Central Charity, the branches that are part of the Samaritans Central Charity and the Samaritans companies. Each of these are data controllers under the data protection laws.

Samaritans Ireland is registered as a company under company number 450409 and is a separate data controller for the purposes of the data protection laws. If you are in contact with Samaritans Ireland only, please read the information contained here.

Some of the Samaritans branches are independent charities and are separate data controllers for the purposes of the data protection laws. If you are in contact with a branch only, you should refer to the branch website to read their data privacy statement.


Which laws apply to us?

Your ‘personal information’ is information that can be used to identify you. This can include your name, email address, postal address, telephone number, date of birth and credit/debit card details, as well as ‘sensitive personal information’ such as details about your ethnic origin, political opinions, religious beliefs, physical or mental health and details of criminal offences. Samaritans collects, stores and handles personal information for a variety of purposes, including to manage our volunteers, to process donations made to us, to engage with our supporters and to provide our services to the public.

The following laws apply to Samaritans, as an organisation that collects, stores and handles personal information:

  • the Data Protection Act 2018
  • the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679
  • the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003

We will handle your information in accordance with these laws.


Changes to this Privacy Statement

As the service we provide changes, we may need to alter this Privacy Statement. If you have any queries about this statement please contact the Legal & Governance team at Samaritans, The Upper Mill, Kingston Road, Ewell, Surrey, KT17 2AF or email


How we use personal information

Select one of the options below to read more about how Samaritans and its branches uses your personal information.

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