Chapter 9: Priority 4: Capacity

Increase our capacity to become one team of valued, diverse, skilled people

Our challenge

Samaritans’ impact is limited by a lack of diverse representation in our people, by our capacity issues and the pressure some roles are under, and by our existing organisational structure.

Our ambition

To meet the demand for our services by recruiting more people, from a diverse range of communities, giving them the best support so they stay with us longer and work effectively together as one Samaritans team.

We will achieve this by:

  • Piloting and introducing flexible ways of volunteering, so that more people are able to fit it into their lives.
  • Reviewing our volunteer leadership roles and making changes to ensure they are both achievable and appealing.
  • Reviewing our structures and recognising that branches are different and will have different needs and capabilities.
  • Championing one Samaritans culture to better enable collaboration between our different services and our people, no matter where they are based or what their role is, working together as one team.
  • Reviewing and improving recruitment, induction and training of volunteers, including a new central volunteer recruitment and training school that complements the branch-led programme.
  • Creating more non-listening and leadership volunteer roles, so we can match the right people to the right positions and improve local and national capacity to deliver our service.

And we will develop our people by:

  • Reviewing our mentoring and ongoing development for listening volunteers and supporting them to develop new skills and get involved with other types of volunteer roles.
  • Reviewing and improving our recruitment so that we can best train people and match them to roles that will work for them.
  • Giving people more opportunities for personal development, for example considering optional accreditations for certain volunteer roles and focusing on leadership skills.
  • Enabling and encouraging discussion and knowledge-sharing between our people, no matter where they are based.

Kay talks about how reaching out to Samaritans led to her becoming a volunteer herself, and why she’s passionate and equity, diversity and inclusion at Samaritans.

In the future, Samaritans would like to be able to have a range of inclusivity from all communities. So it’s a safe space for everyone, regardless of your background.

Kay, Samaritans volunteer

Samaritans volunteer Ella talks about the training and support provided to volunteers, and how her branch in Newport are working to encourage a diverse range of people to volunteer.

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