Samaritans is available 24 hours a day to provide emotional and confidential support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which may lead to suicide.
Samaritans’ vision is for a society in which:
- Fewer people die by suicide
- People are able to explore their feelings
- People are able to acknowledge and respect the feelings of others
Why do we need more volunteers?
We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for volunteers. Samaritans is entirely dependent on voluntary support. It’s a challenging experience and it can be very rewarding, knowing that you may have made a difference.
What training will I get?
We will ensure you are fully prepared for your role as a Samaritan volunteer. You will attend a series of 8/9 preparation sessions within a group and learn about active listening and different types of calls by taking part in skills practice exercises and group discussion. We hold two training sessions per year in Spring and Autumn.
You first need to attend and Information Evening where you will get a chance to speak with other volunteers. These evenings are advertised in the local papers / radio stations and on our social media pages / website.
What support will I get?
You will train, learn and then work with a group of people who will act as informal back-up for you. There will be experienced volunteers on hand to support you when you are on the phones or in the visitor room. Volunteers are never left to cope with difficult calls on their own.
What commitment would I need to give?
Shift duties vary in length but once trained you will be asked to complete 4 duties per month which would vary from 2.5 hours to 5 hours in length. One of these duties would be during the night from either 11pm to 3am or 3am to 8am.
I have a full time job / other commitments during the day. Can I do shifts in the evening /weekend?
Samaritans volunteers come from all walks of life so many will have daytime commitments. Evening and weekend shifts / ‘duties’ are available to fit in with their lifestyle.
Do I have to do an overnight?
Samaritans operate a 24 hour emotional support helpline which needs to be manned throughout the night. Therefore it is essential that we have volunteers available to man the phones during those hours.
Where will I be taking the calls from?
All calls will be taken from our centre on Coach Street. This ensures absolute confidentiality for the caller and support for the volunteer if needed.
What qualities are you looking for in a volunteer?
We are looking for people who can empathise with our callers and can be caring and understanding of their situation. You do not need formal qualifications or previous experience, but a natural ability to listen and remain open minded are essential.
Samaritans is a voluntary organisation that relies heavily on its volunteers to undertake the 2 year commitment initially given. Our training is given free of charge by volunteers on the understanding that you are committed to Samaritans and it’s callers.
If you are currently studying counselling or psychotherapy and are joining to gain experience in these areas please bear this in mind.
For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org