EMPLOYEES from a Winchester company have taken part in fundraiser hosted by the Samaritans.

On Friday (June 20) members from Denplan took part in Phone Free Friday which saw them abandon their mobiles from 9am-5pm.

It was aimed at promoting the charity which has answered 41,831 calls over the last 12 months – an increase of more than 1,000 calls on the previous year.

Those who were unable to leave the technology alone were forced to face penalties.

Catherine Johnstone, Samaritans’ CEO, said: “Samaritans answers more than 5 million calls for help every year, and we need to make sure we continue to be there for anyone struggling to cope. We are asking our supporters to turn off their personal mobile phones for one day and donate, so we can answer more calls.

“It is fantastic that Denplan is supporting Phone Free Friday, and we hope that this will encourage others to take part.”

Mark Hamson at Simplyhealth said: “We were really pleased to be teaming up with Samaritans on their new fundraising day. Nowadays, we rely on our phones for pretty much everything and Phone Free Friday is a great way to go back to basics, while raising funds for a great cause.”