Samaritans are ordinary people. We come from all walks of life, levels of education, backgrounds, cultures and ages. There are no formal qualifications or previous experience required, but you do need to be over 18.
Don't worry if you think that you won't know what to say when someone calls, as you will go through in-depth training that will give you the skills and strategies to deal with all types of callers. And don't worry if you feel that you won't have all the answers, we are not here to have all the answers. We are here to listen and help callers to explore their feelings and emotions.
Volunteers are asked to donate 4 hours of their time each week. Most shifts are two hours, so we ask you to complete 2 shifts, either together or separate. We have shifts at varying time of the day and evening. We also have night shifts and these are at bit longer, but don't worry you do get a break to get your head down.
How do I become a volunteer?
There is an application form on the right, just complete this and we will make contact with you to take your application further.
If you decide to move forwards with your application, you will be invited to attend a Selection Day. These events are usually on a Saturday or Sunday. They consist of group exercises and an informal interview. This will give you a better idea of what we do. It also lets you decide if Samaritans is for you, and lets us decide if you have the temperament we are looking for in a listener.
You will then train, learn and then when you start to work as a listener you will work with a mentor who will guide you through your first few shifts and act as an informal back-up for you. Beyond this when you are on shift there will always be experienced volunteers on hand to support you. Volunteers are never left to cope with a distressing call on their own.
We also need non listening volunteers; this is to help with things like administration, fundraising and community work. Non-listening Samaritans are called Friends and we have a strong and vibrant Friends group at our branch. Click here for more information on non-listening Samaritans