VolunteerIng FAQs

Thursday 1st June 2017


Why do you need more Volunteers?
Samaritans is entirely dependent on voluntary support.  Like any organisation, the number of volunteers varies; people leave due to changes in work, family or other circumstances.  It's a challenging experience but it can be very rewarding, knowing that you may have made a difference.

Do Samaritans only help people by telephone?
Samaritans provide a 24-hour telephone, email and text service throughout the year.  In addition the Eastbourne Centre is open to visitors between 10.30 am and 10.30 pm every day of the year.  In addition we have recently installed a lift system to ensure easy access for volunteers and callers using wheelchairs and other mobility aids

What training will I receive?
We will ensure you are fully prepared for your role as a Samaritans volunteer. You will attend a series of 13 modules (9 + 4) led by an excellent team of trainers. Within a group you will learn about active listening and different types of calls. You will take part in skills practice exercises and group discussion.

What Support will I get?
The training team will provide you with the support and guidance needed to become a competent listening volunteer. During your first months taking calls you will be paired with a mentor who will support you in putting into practice the skills you learn in training. Each duty you undertake will be supported by a leader and a co-volunteer.

How much time would I need to give each month?
Different duties are available during the day and night. We ask that each month you complete 16 hours on duty and that over the year this includes some night and weekend duties.

I have full-time job/commitments during the day – when can I do my duty?
Our volunteers are from all walks of life and many have full-time jobs and responsibilities during the day.  We are very flexible in the time that you complete your duty. In other words, you can fit your duty into your lifestyle and if this means doing your duty in the evening or weekend, that’s fine!!

Do I have to do a night shift?
Samaritans run a 24-hour emotional support helpline and demand from callers is at its greatest between 2am – 8am.  Therefore, it is essential we have volunteers available to take calls at that time.

Where will I be based whilst on duty?
All calls are taken at the Samaritans' Centre at The Haven, 13 Bolton Road, Eastbourne.  This provides confidentiality for the caller and enables us to ensure there is support available for the volunteer if needed.

Where will the calls come from?
Calls may come from any part of the UK, even occasionally from abroad. E-mail contacts frequently come from overseas.

What qualities are you looking for in a volunteer?
We are looking for people who can empathise with our callers and be caring and understanding of their situation.  You don't need formal qualifications or previous experience, but a natural ability to listen and remain open minded are essential.

How can I find out more?

If you would like to find out more, then please take up our invitation to attend an Information Session where you will be able to find out more about volunteering and the work that we do. You will find a welcoming environment and will be able to explore whether Samaritans is the right place for you.

If you are interested in helping us as a listening or support volunteer, come along to one of our informal Information Sessions at the Haven and find out more about our work.

If you require any further information email:  volunteering@eastbournesamaritans.org


Come to one of our informal 2017 Information Sessions at
The Haven, 13 Bolton Road, Eastbourne BN21 3JT