Boston selection day for new Samaritans
Are you a good listener and could you help others who are struggling to cope?
Samaritans are looking for more volunteers and are holding a selection day at the Len Medlock Centre at 9.30am on Saturday, January 12. Training starts on February 16.
The Boston branch of Samaritans has been running for nearly 40 years, during which time they have helped many people through challenging times by giving them emotional support.
Their overall aim is that fewer people die by suicide and they work to achieve this by alleviating emotional distress and reducing the incidence of suicidal feelings and suicidal behaviour by providing emotional support for people struggling to cope. They reach out to high-risk groups and communities and work in partnership with other agencies and groups which also aim to influence public policy and raise awareness of the challenges of reducing distress.
As a national organisation, they are here, 24 hours a day, for anyone and everyone in need of emotional support. Samaritans can only do this with the help of their volunteers who kindly give up their time to support and help people to make unquantifiable differences to their lives.
Right now they need volunteers more than ever.
If you are 18 or over you could be a listening volunteer. They help more than 5.7 million people each year and can change the course of someone's life. But many calls and messages to Samaritans go unanswered because they don't have enough volunteers. That's where you come in.
As a listening volunteer, you'll answer calls and respond to texts and emails from people who really need someone to talk to.
• Interested in listening to people going through a tough time
• Open-minded and non-judgemental
• Able to listen without telling people what to do
Every six seconds someone contacts the Samaritans. You'll receive full training to prepare you for the kinds of conversations you'll have. And when you start out, you'll have a mentor with you, to give you confidence you're doing the right thing.
You'll gain a range of new skills and the confidence to use them, including the ability to understand people and manage difficult conversations. Many employers value these kinds of skills.
People of all kinds contact Samaritans about all kinds of problems. It could be depression, loneliness, stressful situations at home or work, debt, abuse. Only about one-in-five calls or messages are from people feeling suicidal, and the vast majority of these aren't actively planning to end their lives.
You'll be given high-quality training to prepare you for the role. The training at Boston branch takes place on Saturdays and is a mixture of half day and full-day sessions. There are ten modules lasting three hours each. It typically takes a few months before you're ready to start volunteering. You'll also receive ongoing training several times a year to keep building your skills.
As a support volunteer there are lots of things you could do to support - marketing services, fundraising, organising events or providing IT support. It all depends what you want to do and what you're good at.
Each individual branch is responsible for raising its own money to cover running costs, training its volunteers and ensuring they play their part in delivering the Samaritan service.
Whichever volunteering role you choose you will help people at difficult times.
If you feel being a Samaritan is something you would like to do please get in touch for an information and application pack at www.samaritans.org/boston/