Become a Volunteer
Our local branch is led by volunteers, and our service is completely provided by dedicated volunteers from all walks of life. Samaritan volunteers are ordinary people offering confidential emotional support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair, including those feelings which may lead to suicide. Without our volunteers, Samaritans would not exist.
You don’t need any formal qualifications or previous experience to become a Samaritan. You do need to be a good listener and allow people the time and space to explore their feelings. To be a listening volunteer you need to be 18 or over and willing to give 15 hours a month (in 2 or 3 hour shifts) with some unsocial hours.
We currently have about 140 volunteers providing a round-the-clock telephone helpline for distressed and suicidal callers. This includes listening volunteers, who undertake training to provide emotional support, and Associate volunteers who help with all the other tasks that keep up service running.
We regularly hold information events for prospective volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering for the Samaritans, please come along to one to find out more about us.
The next information event will be held on:
- Tuesday March 19th 2013 at 7.00pm prompt
- Saturday April 13th 2013 at 10.30am prompt
- Tuesday April 30th 2013 at 7.00pm prompt
- Saturday May 11th 2013 at 10.30am prompt
- Tuesday May 28th 2013 at 7.00pm prompt
- Saturday June 8th 2013 at 10.30am prompt
- Tuesday June 25th 2013 at 7.00pm prompt
Listening volunteers take part in the national training programme for new Samaritans, run by our volunteers in Hove. They then have a supported introduction to the role, listening to our callers with an experienced volunteer on hand to help them, and a further set of training sessions after a few months to check that they are comfortable with everything. Because of the nature of the volunteering role, we work hard to support each other, and are experienced at ensuring that volunteers are able to go back to their everyday lives without worrying.
Even though everyone in our branch is a volunteer, it still costs approximately £50,000 each year to run the branch. Associate Samaritans make a vital contribution to the branch by undertaking administrative work, helping to publicise Samaritans, and forming the core of our fundraising team. Every year they organise a wide range of fun events to help raise money for the branch, as well as taking on some of the most essential roles that keep us going.
Our charity shop in George Street, Hove welcomes volunteers who are able to give a regular commitment each week to serve customers and to help prepare, sort and display stock. For more information on volunteering in our shop contact the shop manager on 01273 711254.
If you would like to find out more about joining us, get in touch via the national Samaritans website if possible, or give us a call on 01273 772277 and we’ll send you an information pack and details of information events. We usually run a couple of Information Events every month, and it covers the origins of Samaritans, how we work, and what we offer to volunteers. There are always current volunteers, both listening volunteers and Associate volunteers on hand at these events to give a real perspective of what being part of our branch is like.