Nominet is donating £1 to the Samaritans for every new, paid for .uk domain registered from 9 December 2019 until 17 January 2020. Going by new registrations statistics provided by Nominet for 2019, Samaritans is likely to benefit to the tune of around £170,000.
Funds raised through new domain registrations ending in .co.uk, .uk, .org.uk, .me.uk, .ltd.uk, .plc.uk and .net.uk, will support Samaritans’ work developing its vital webchat service from its pilot stage to launch.
Samaritans is the leading suicide prevention charity in the United Kingdom, and is the only organisation that provides free emotional support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to anyone across the UK and Ireland who is struggling to cope. Nominet, the registry for the .uk country code top-level domain (ccTLD), notes the latest suicide rates in the UK rose for the first time in five years and revealed, in particular, in recent years the rate of suicide in young people has increased.
Samaritans’ webchat pilots have already demonstrated clear evidence of the need for this service, with the charity receiving many first-time contacts from young people in states of severe distress. The aim is to make the online environment safer for young people by offering them more ways to contact Samaritans, ensuring the charity’s vital services are accessible to everyone and in ways that work best for the user.
“Nominet is already supporting us to build essential new digital products that will enable Samaritans to improve our services and reach more people who need them,” said Francis Bacon, Assistant Director of Digital Services and Change, Samaritans. “We’re very grateful that they have chosen to support us even further with this festive fundraising initiative via .UK domain registrations. The additional contribution will accelerate our ability to bring our webchat pilot to launch, which will be a milestone achievement for the charity as we endeavour to always be there for everyone.”
Nominet is a Samaritans Digital Transformation partner. Earlier this year, Nominet announced it is providing £175,000, in addition to lending their expertise as one of the country’s leading technology companies, to support the development of the two new digital products. These are a self-help tool for coping with distress and suicidal thoughts, and a new system which will allow volunteers to respond to significant volumes of additional contacts. Overall, with a guaranteed minimum contribution from the .UK registration campaign of £140k, Nominet’s total contribution to Samaritans will be over £300k.
In 2018, Nominet supported Children in Need with a similar domain registrations initiative. The funds raised went towards the charity’s projects that use digital or new technology to support disadvantaged children and young people across the UK.