Hear from our staff
Network Rail Training Officer
My job entails travelling around the UK training people who work in the rail industry to deal with the issue of suicide.
My colleagues and I present the courses at a variety of Network Rail, train company and British Transport Police venues. We train up to 20 people at a time and cover both suicide prevention and trauma support.
Many people go on to use the skills they’ve learned on the course to encourage people to talk about their troubles and access support. It makes the extensive travelling and hard work all worthwhile!
Sometimes people who attend our courses want to talk about their own experiences with trauma and this is where the skills I gained as a Samaritans listening volunteer proves beneficial.
I’ve found working at Samaritans to be a pleasure, the people here are great; all very supportive. Our offices are based in an old mill in Surrey, surrounded by a pond and lots of greenery. It makes for a lovely working environment!
Executive Director for Scotland
You’d have thought that by the age of 43 you’d be well over the sweaty palms, itchy teeth and anxiety dreams that you’ve forgotten to wear trousers on your first day at big school. But six and a half years after I last started in a new organisation, July marked the beginning of my new role as executive director for Scotland at Samaritans.
One of the most striking things from my first few days has been the degree of responsibility held by and the amazing commitment of Samaritans volunteers. The more than 1000 volunteers right across Scotland, from Dumfries to Shetland.
Knowing I’m here to champion a charity that is always here, round the clock, every single day of the year for those that need us is a huge privilege.
At my first board meeting, I also learnt that many of the trustees are still active front-line volunteers and can talk passionately about the help they gave to people struggling to cope during their last shift. This links back to the experience of people contacting us every day, amidst all the governance work is really refreshing.
What our volunteers deliver has my huge respect. But it also gives a lot for me to learn about what I can do to maximise our already brilliant work across the country.
As a man in my middle years I’m in the highest risk demographic. In my previous role, whist men were hugely affected by breast cancer, they weren’t usually the people dealing with the diagnosis themselves. I’m now coming to terms with the issue of suicide being much closer to home.
This extract is taken from Third Force News. You can read the full article here.