Maybe it was the great weather or the fact that the weekend is almost upon us, but people in Huddersfield were certainly feeling upbeat as the Samaritans found out.

In fact a survey showed that we are happy with our lot.

It was a welcome finding for the group of volunteers who took to St George’s Square and the railway station to take a poll to find out how happy local residents and commuters are.

It comes after the group revealed in June that calls to the voluntary crisis service were up 10% to almost 20,000 in one year, which urged them to place a call for more helpers.

Their event was one of 33 taking place across the North East and North West as part of a month-long campaign to encourage more people to contact the service if they feel unable to cope.

Director, Michael George and other volunteers draped a large banner in the middle of the square, which asked passers by ‘How happy is Huddersfield?’ and gave them the chance to place a ball in one of two tubes to highlight their mood. One tube was for happy people and the other for sad ones.

Cat, left, Zahra, Georgia, Hannah, Liz, Glyn, Jess and Steph of the Huddersfield Samaritans branch
Cat, left, Zahra, Georgia, Hannah, Liz, Glyn, Jess and Steph of the Huddersfield Samaritans branch
 

The results highlighted an overwhelming number of happy people but left Michael not entirely sure why calls had gone up.

He said: “Due to the increase we wanted to put it to the test whether people were becoming unhappier or not.

“The day has shown that lots of people do actually appear to feel happy, whether it’s due to the good weather or something else.

“One reason calls may have gone up could be due to our increased opening hours late at night, when people feel most alone.”

However, the team were not complacent about continuing to work hard to encourage those struggling to talk to someone or ring the service, instead of bottling their feelings up.

Michael, who was on hand with the others to talk to those with concerns, said: “Sadly some people don’t feel happy so we are here to make it easier for them to realise that they can get in touch with us if they have concerns or just want to talk.

“I think we need to have a more active presence at railway stations and are talking about going onto trains a couple of times a year to talk to people about how they’re feeling.”

The Mayor of Kirklees, Clr Ken Smith, who attended the event, said: “The Samaritans do a great and necessary job.

“I think that people in the town are getting happier although continuing unemployment may affect how some people are feeling.

“One of the good things about Huddersfield is how welcoming a place it is, which makes it great to live in.”

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