There are lots of ways you can volunteer for Samaritans. You could become a listening volunteer, helping us to answer calls and messages from people who need some support. And there are a range of other opportunities available too.
Our branches across the UK and Ireland are always looking for support with marketing, fundraising, or even helping out in one of our shops. It all depends on what you're good at and what you've got time for.
I get so much more than I give back; it's humbling and rewarding to be able to help in some small way by being there for people who need us.
Lynsey, Samaritans volunteer
Anyone can be a Samaritans volunteer: you don't need to have been through a particular life experience or be from a certain walk of life. Anyone who's over 18, wants to help others, and is tolerant and open-minded is welcome.
Listening volunteers typically do a shift a week for around 3 to 4 hours, but before you get to that stage, there's a 10-week training course. Once you've become a listening volunteer, you'll continue to get training, as well as mentoring and support from other volunteers in your branch, so you're never alone and you're always supported.
Training takes place in our branches, using standard training used across Samaritans. The initial training course for listening volunteers takes place over several weeks, in 10 3-hour sessions. After that, we pair you with an experienced volunteer who you’ll observe and do your shifts with for 4–6 months.
You’ll receive ongoing training throughout your time with us, to help build on your experience.
Training for support volunteers usually involves an induction evening so you can find out more about us, and then any specialist training needed for the role that you take on.
Night time can be a particularly difficult time for some people and our volunteers often say that the calls they take during the night are the ones that they feel have made the biggest difference. We ask that listening volunteers cover one night shift every 4 to 8 weeks, but we're also looking for some night-only volunteers.