THE Al-Khair Foundation has donated £500 towards a hospital Samaritans bedside helpline.

The money, donated to the ELHT&Me charity, will help support patients at Royal Blackburn Hospital who are suffering from loneliness and mental health issues by making sure they have access to the 24/7 service.

Hospital Imam Fazal Hassan, the Muslim chaplain and religious advisor for the East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "The chaplaincy department is extremely grateful to Al-Khair Foundation for their support.

"This is yet another example of how local charities have stepped up to support a worthwhile local cause.

"The £500 paid for the software changes, which were necessary for this service to be implemented.

"Hospedia, who run the bedside phones system, have also very kindly agreed to fund the cost of the calls, although members of the public can contact the Samaritans free on their personal phones anytime on 116 123."

Imran Musa, regional manager at the foundation, said: "We are delighted to assist with this innovative project initiated by the hospital's chaplaincy department.

"I hope that this service will make a big difference to the patients who may need this support whilst they are in the hospital."