My raison d'etre is to listen
When Ella lost her cousin to suicide, it bought to the surface her desire to help and she became a Samaritans listening volunteer.
I’ve travelled far and wide with my job, and I’m now living in my 17th home. The longest I’ve settled anywhere is three years. I’ve always wanted to volunteer but being on the move all the time made it hard. When the chance came to settle down a little, I applied to volunteer at my local branch. I felt as if I’d be a good fit as a Samaritan.
From working overseas away from family and friends I knew about loneliness and isolation. I also understood that being surrounded by people, like you are in the military, doesn’t mean you always feel happy and included. But it was the suicide of a cousin that was the catalyst. If I could just be there for one person, who wanted or needed to talk, it would be worth it.
I searched online and found the application. It was easy to complete, and the recruitment process was straightforward. The way I describe the training was humbling, informative and revealing of myself.
The trainer was phenomenal – and her experience, knowledge and energy were both impressive and infectious. I felt encouraged and appreciated at every step and built strong friendships and relationships with my fellow trainees. Samaritans aren’t just here for callers, we’re here for each other too.
For various reasons, a few trainees weren’t able to complete our training and at one point I felt like giving up too. Another volunteer stepped in to encourage me, giving me a pep talk and using the skills she had as a Samaritan to help me through my concerns. It was her encouragement that made me stay the course.
As a listener, I learn from every caller’s situation that life could be so much worse without anyone to listen to you. The Samaritans training, and the incredible people I volunteer alongside have contributed positively to my life too because it assures me that there is always someone who will listen.