Today is International Volunteers Day so we sat down with our lovely Account Manager Charlotte to chat about the amazing work she does with suicide prevention charity the Samaritans…
1. How long have you been volunteering for the Samaritans?
I started my training in October this year and am currently on my second training module.
2. What made you decide to become a volunteer?
There are so many charities out there which need volunteers as well as fundraising. I wanted to volunteer for the Samaritans as I am an advocate for improving mental health and wanted to offer my time to try and make a difference in peoples lives.
3. What does your role involve?
My role as a listening volunteer involves being a crutch in crisis and no two calls are the same. We give people the space and time to talk about issues which are causing them distress in confidence and without judgement. We try and help the caller find their own solutions. Some calls can be quite upsetting to hear but knowing that you are there for someone in their time of need is privilege.
4. What’s the best thing about volunteering?
Knowing you have helped someone by just listening is extremely humbling. The training you receive is fantastic and really prepares you for when you start taking calls. You receive support from not only your mentors, other Samaritans and shift leaders but also the group who you trained with. I have also learnt a lot of life skills which have been extremely useful here at Boardmans.
5. What advice would you give to anyone thinking about becoming a volunteer?
Everyone can be a Samaritan! You just need to go in with empathy and an open mind. You need to be dedicated to helping people in a time of need which will challenge who you are but also give you a sense of satisfaction that you have made a difference to someone’s life.
If you need support or would like more information about becoming a Samaritans volunteer, visit https://www.samaritans.org