10 Richmond Road
Devon EX4 4JA
How we can help
An introduction to Exeter Mid and East Devon Samaritans - welcome to our website
In 2021 we responded to 31,417 contacts within the branch. Of these 27,787 were telephone calls, 2,689 were emails and 941 webchat contacts.
We have over 120 volunteers in our branch; in addition to responding to callers, we would normally conduct outreach work across our area, such as offering wellbeing talks to school students and holding fundraising collections at supermarkets. We also work with 'Listeners' in Exeter Prison - these people offer emotional support to other prisoners.
Anyone wishing to volunteer with our branch should apply at www.samaritans.org/support-us/volunteer. They will then be invited to a one-hour online session to explain what's involved and give an opportunity to ask questions, meet Samaritans and find out about our work.
And a reminder - all of our training is undertaken by other volunteers.
Occasionally we make the news - in a good way. Please read these to get a flavour about why:
- Younger volunteers buck the trend at Exeter, Mid and East Devon Samaritans
- Jenny and Milly keep volunteering in the family way
- Bin there, Done that - The story behind a mistaken charity shop donation
- Making Waves - an underwater photographer works with Samaritans
- Exeter, Mid and East Devon Samaritans are Top of the Tree
Exeter Samaritans held its first meeting to recruit volunteers in November 1963 - we were one of the first out-of-London branches, set up 10 years after the national charity was founded by the Reverend Chad Varah.
Exeter Samaritans’ telephone number ‘went live’ in 1964 and by 1970 there were 1,800 annual ‘contacts’ from people by telephone or face-to-face. This rose to 6,865 by 1975.
The local branch increased in geographical size to cover parts of Devon as well as Exeter, larger premises were used and at different times we had a city centre charity shop - and our own caravan!
In 1992 a Listeners team was created in Exeter Prison; prisoners were trained by Samaritans to support their peers and this remains a vital part of our work today.
In 1999 we moved to our current central Exeter premises, and now we respond to callers by email as well as the original telephone and face-to-face.
Late in 2020 we opened a shop in Sidmouth, inside our 'patch'. It's open five days a week, Tuesday to Saturday, and run entirely by volunteers. Help towards this shop is also kindly donated by Creeds – Design and Print, Bridport.
Our privacy statement
At Samaritans, privacy is at the heart of what we do. We are committed to protecting your privacy and the personal information that we hold. Read our privacy statement here.