It is an honour to be leading the Harrogate Branch.
Meet Mark Edwards
Welcome to Harrogate Branch. My name is Mark, and I am the new Branch Director for the next three years. It is an honour to be leading the Harrogate Branch.
For me, Samaritans are all about connection. When we receive a call, we connect for however long it may take with someone that needs our support right there at that very moment. Through non-judgemental listening and asking questions, we enable our callers to feel connected, supported, valued, and loved. What a privilege that is!
When asked what do you want to achieve over the next three years? My first thoughts are drawn to how we can best support or volunteer force to be able to provide an amazing listening service for our callers. For me, that involves finding ways to help volunteers understand the issues facing our callers to enable them to be even more empathetic of the so many different concerns they may have. I hope to do this through focussed sessions where we can learn more about what it is like to have specific worries, illnesses, or syndromes. What is day-to-day life like for those that are vulnerable?
Secondly, I hope that we can ensure we cover all our shifts so that we can be there for our callers. That is no mean task. Our volunteers have busy lives and give so much of their time to Samaritans. However, I hope that we can pursue a strategy of “more people doing less”. By that, I mean more of our volunteers helping deliver all the many tasks that keep a branch open and, in doing so, not making it a burden.
Finally, how can we ensure our service is well known in our local community? This will involve us working with others locally and finding out where best to share information about our service in Harrogate and the surrounding area.
Samaritans are all about connection
Mark Edwards, Branch Director