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Samaritans Charity Profile
Samaritans is a confidential emotional support service for anyone in the UK and Ireland. The service is available 24 hours a day for people who are experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those which may lead to suicide. Volunteers offer support by responding to phone calls, emails and letters. Alternatively people can drop in to a branch to have a face to face meeting. The service is offered by 17,000 trained volunteers and is entirely dependent on voluntary support. There are 202 branches of Samaritans in the UK and Republic of Ireland.
Samaritans Volunteer Information
Your local branch of Samaritans is always looking for people with the ability to listen, without passing judgement. You don't need formal qualifications or previous experience, but a natural ability to listen and remain open-minded is essential. You must be over 18.
If you volunteer as a ‘listener’ during the day or night, you’ll develop the confidence and precious know-how to turn your natural instinct to want to help someone in difficulty into positive, sometimes life-changing support by phone, email, text message, letter, even face to face.
If you volunteer behind the scenes, you’ll be helping your local branch run smoothly and play a key role in keeping our vital service open. Some branches also have charity shops that you might be able to manage or help with shifts.
What training and support would I get?
To get everyone fully prepared for a role as a Samaritans volunteer, there’s a series of about 8 preparation sessions to learn about active listening, all held in your local branch over weekends or evenings. You’ll take part in skills practice exercises and group discussions with a group of people who will also act as informal back-up for you when you become a volunteer.
When you are answering the phones, replying to emails or texts or meeting people face-to-face, there will always be an experienced volunteer on hand to support you. Volunteers are never left on their own.
Thank you. I was on a metaphorical cliff-edge tonight. Everything had got on top of me, A difficult relationship with my Mum, a horrible break-up with my partner, a stressful time at work, self-harm and a weird relationship with a new man ... I didn’t know where else to turn tonight, and was afraid that I would either harm myself again, or worse. Talking to someone there has calmed me down and I don’t feel so alone now. You don’t know what this has meant to me. Thank you.
What sort of people become volunteers?
Samaritans volunteers need to be able to listen. They are not professional counsellors. They can also:
• question gently, tactfully - without intruding
• encourage people to tell their own story in their own time and space
• refrain from offering advice and instead offer confidential emotional support
• always try to see the other point of view, regardless of their own religious or political beliefs
What commitment would I need to give?
The hours of shifts do vary quite a lot from branch to branch. But typically, once you are trained you will be asked to do a shift of 3 to 4 hours a week with 1 overnight shift a month.
In The News
Public abseils Drake Circus car park for charity
142 days ago From This is Plymouth
PLYMOUTH, U K - On Saturday the Plymouth branch of the Samaritans gave the public a chance to get a different perspective on Drake Circus. A vertical perspective, that is. The Samaritans hosted a charity abseiling event throughout the day, and for a minimum donation ...