Local businessman Jimmy Attias yesterday donated £30,000 to GibSams in a bid to help the charity create its new ‘chat service’.
The donation is the “biggest” single donation the telephone helpline service has received since it was founded.
GibSams will be creating a chat service whereby people can message rather than call the charity when in need of help.
Mr Attias, whose businesses include a chocolate factory which produces the ‘Bean and Pod’ luxury chocolates as well as Ten Acre crisps and popcorn, donated the funds alongside his daughter Daniella Benamor.
The donation was accepted by GibSams Chairwomen Marielou Guerrero and the charity’s trustees at Hassans new offices at MidTown.
Ms Guerrero said she was “elated” by Mr Attias’ donation, adding that the charity had just completed its first full year.
The funds will be used to train new volunteers, expand the service and to raise awareness.
“The money will be absolutely amazing to expand the services this year,” Ms Guerrero said.
“The younger generation prefer to text rather than phone, but it’s been difficult getting the technology so that the anonymity is preserved.”
“This will come in very handy to be able to purchase the technology that will make these texts anonymous.”
Mr Attias chose to donate to GibSams after having felt there was a “longstanding need” for this kind of charity.
GibSams provides a place where people can anonymously talk to someone about any of their issues over the phone.
Volunteers field calls from people expressing feelings of depression, anxiety, loneliness, or even personal issues such as the breakdown of a relationship.
“To pre-empt is to prevent,” Mr Attias said.
“The essence of GibSams is to help those who have nowhere to turn.”
“Social media is a fantastic tool for many but is also a great poison for those who can’t handle it.”
“It’s great for people to have a place where they can talk to people, that understand, comprehend and keep your confidentiality.”
Mr Attias added there was a “desperate need” for GibSams and encourages other local entrepreneurs to give donations.
His daughter, Daniella said she was “so proud” of her dad.
“It doesn’t surprise me because he has been helping people, and especially young people for as long as I can remember,” Ms Benamor said.
“He has been a massive support system for the youth amongst the Jewish community and at large as well.”
“I really like the GibSams motto, ‘it’s ok not to be ok’, and I think what they are doing is fantastic.”
Pic by Johnny Bugeja