Manchester and Salford Samaritans

Contact us

116 123 free from any phone

0330 094 5717 local call charges apply

72-74 Oxford Street
Manchester M1 5NH AdminOnly>[email protected]

How we can help

Listening service

We have listening volunteers available around the clock every day of the year to offer confidential emotional support

Schools outreach

Volunteers go out to visit young people from the ages of 6 up to 21 to talk about the importance of looking after our emotional health

Prisons outreach

We train prisoners to become listeners and then we offer them support on a weekly basis as part of our national prisons programme


Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 restrictions we are unable to offer as many interviews, training and mentorship places as usual, so we are requesting you to please delay applying to volunteer. We really appreciate your willingness to offer your services and we are looking forward to saying ‘Welcome’ soon, so please watch this space.

Branch Leadership Team

Manchester and Salford Samaritans

About Manchester and Salford Samaritans

This branch has been providing emotional support to people in Manchester and Salford and beyond since 1962.

We serve as a listening ear for our community, with ordinary people supporting those struggling to cope, round the clock, every single day of the year.

From our base in Central Manchester, we offer emotional support by telephone, and by email. The phone lines and email support are available 24/7. The branch will be open again soon for face to face callers once the pandemic restrictions for visitors is lifted, but we cannot say when this will be. Until then the branch is not able to accept visitors.

Latest news

News from the Samaritans about Coronavirus, click here

We offer a more accessible version of this information which can be accessed here.

Due to the virus pandemic, Manchester Samaritans have very regretfully stopped all Face to Face Callers and all other visitors to the branch. We have also stopped all outreach work by branch volunteers within local communities. All volunteer recruitment is now only by online interviewing, for the time being and not by face to face interviewing in the branch. We will update these website details when this situation changes.

Callers can still phone the Samaritans for free on 116 123 or send an email to [email protected]

Other News

A big thank you from Martine and Lesley, our branch Directors, and the Branch Leadership Team to all our Manchester and Salford volunteers as ever, but especially now for keeping the branch open for our callers during all lockdowns. In Volunteers Week, we extended our heartfelt thanks to all volunteers in the UK. Read more about it in our Branch News.

The branch would like to say thank you to the Community Health Partnerships for their generous donation of hand sanitisers, and to Mo Marzouk from I Saw It First who provided us with hand sanitisers, masks and gloves. We would also like to express our gratitude to John Addison and Dave Phillips at Euro Car Parks for providing free car parking for volunteers, not only during this time of crisis but for many years.

A huge well done to Mandy Glancy from our branch who was featured in November's Good Housekeeping magazine. The magazine celebrated the efforts of twenty 'National Treasures'; incredible heroes who the public felt deserved recognition for their outstanding contribution throughout the pandemic. We, the branch, nominated Mandy for being a valued member of our branch and always going out of her way to help others. We could not be more proud!

Find out more about our branch activities in the Branch News.

Raising funds for our branch can be fun!

Each year our branch receives over 42,000 calls for support. We need your support to help us to make sure we can be there for anyone who needs us.

There are so many ways you can raise money for our branch. One way is to donate via text from your mobile phone. Text MCRSAMS 5 to 70450 which will donate £5 to our branch. Substitute the 5 with any amount of your choice. We appreciate and welcome all donations and community fundraising events.

You can click on the "Donate" link at the bottom of this page, which takes you to our "Just Giving Page", and any donations will be extremely welcome.

A huge well done to Katy, Jenny F, Jenny M, Charlotte, Shazia, Christine, Marielle, Ahmed and Gordon, the Manchester team that completed the Samarathon in July to raise funds for the Manchester branch. The group raised over £2000 in sponsorship between them which is absolutely fantastic! Read more about their campaign here.

We also like to meet our community fund raisers so we aim to invite people who have raised money to various social events during the year.

Volunteering in our Branch

Everyone in the branch from Martine and Lesley our Directors to our part time fundraisers are volunteers. We currently have 165 volunteers. Most of our Samaritans are Listening Volunteers who provide emotional support to our callers. But we do have Support Volunteers who help us in many other ways. Our Support Volunteers help us with administration, fundraising, IT support and building maintenance for example.

We have three intakes of new volunteers each year and it takes approximately six months to become a Full Samaritan. The journey to becoming a Samaritan begins with induction called Core Development - a mix of short online modules you can complete at home, and Face to Face training over six successive weekly sessions.

After successfully completing Core Development new volunteers starts shifts under the guidance of a mentor who supports and guides them through their first caller contacts . Once mentoring is completed the new volunteer becomes a Probationer and can then sign on for regular shifts with an experienced Samaritan. During the mentoring and probationary period the new volunteer completes further Training, called Embedded Development, currently consisting of four further modules.

Once the new volunteer has completed Core Development, Embedded Development, mentoring, and probation (mentoring and probation is minimum of 6 shifts and an overnight shift), they become full Samaritans, and members of the branch. At this stage, the new volunteers are asked to sign up for regular weekly shifts.

Our volunteers are offering the branch the gift of their time for our callers. We recognise that people have many other demands on their time so we make the rota system flexible and as easy as possible to sign up. The listening shifts are 3 hours long and start at 8am every day. Volunteers can sign up online to do shifts at the times that work best for them. Most volunteers do one shift a week. But we are flexible, and fully understand that this isn't always possible.

Our Overnight Shifts are from 11pm to 3am and most volunteers do an Overnight Shift once every six weeks. The Overnight Shifts are fixed to fit in with volunteers other commitments. Those volunteers who are unable to do Overnights for whatever reason tend to give the branch extra day shifts. We provide a free taxi service after a night shift for any volunteers who need it to get home.

Before applying we do ask that potential volunteers will be available to complete all the aspects of training and the required number of mentoring shifts within a specified time. However the training and mentoring period do require regular weekly time commitments for approximately four months to be completed. So if anyone has other major commitments coming up or can't make the training dates shown below it is probably best to delay your application until your diary allows the time it will take to become a Samaritan.

The dates for the next new intakes during 2021 to start Samaritans Core Development Training are listed here.

2021 Intakes

Core Development

The spring intake of new volunteers in 2021 will consist of a blended learning approaching, mixing six online group training sessions (using Zoom) with individual self-study using our interactive learning platform. We recommend allowing ~3hrs for each online group session and ~2hrs per week of individual self-study

Group 21A

  1. Introduction to Listening – Saturday 3rd April 10.30am
  2. Contact with People – Saturday 10th April 10.30am
  3. Different Perspectives – Saturday 17th April 10.30am
  4. Self-Determination – Saturday 24th April 10.30am
  5. Difficult Contacts – Saturday 1st May 10.30am
  6. Mock Duty – Saturday 8th May 10.30am

Group 21B

  1. Introduction to Listening – Tuesday 6th April 6pm
  2. Contact with People – Tuesday 13th April 6pm
  3. Different Perspectives – Tuesday 20th April 6pm
  4. Self-Determination – Tuesday 27th April 6pm
  5. Difficult Contacts – Tuesday 4th May 6pm
  6. Mock Duty – Tuesday 11th May 6pm

Embedding Development

Following Core Development, new volunteers will attend weekly 3hr shifts in the branch with a mentor (dates/times are agreed with your mentor) for a minimum of 6-8 weeks and begin to speak to our callers as a Samaritan. These shifts will also form the basis for further Embedding Development training sessions (dates/times to be agreed with your training group) in which you will share and reflect on your experiences alongside other trainees, using this to develop your knowledge and skills further.

Once the Embedding Development stage is complete new volunteers will be assigned Probationer status and will manage their own shifts and calls, supported by both mentors and the branch buddy system. After successfully completing probation, new volunteers become full Listening Volunteers.

Being a Samaritan is a very rewarding and valuable role and we look forward to welcoming new volunteers to our branch.

Working Outside The Branch In Manchester & Salford

An important part of Samaritans work is to reach out to people in the community and work with other organisations to raise awareness of what we do and to offer support. Here are a selection of the activities our Outreach Team can offer.

Talks, Presentations And Workshops we offer

  • Samaritans - Who we are what we do
  • The Power Of Listening
  • Wellbeing In The Workplace

Information Stands - We can set up an information stand at your event to raise awareness of Samaritans

Emotional Support - We can provide emotional support at an event that may be challenging for people. For example we provided listening volunteers to be available in St Peter's Square just after the Manchester Bombing and we provided listening volunteers to be available at the event in the city centre one year later. We can also give post-vention support to an organisation, especially schools and colleges if there has been a suicide.

National Campaigns - We promote the various Samaritans national campaigns such as Brew Monday, Small Talk Saves Lives and Real People Real Lives across the city.

Schools, Colleges and Universities.

Our Education Team regularly work in schools offering sessions for students on emotional intelligence and listening skills. We have also worked with university students help them support their peers.

Local Events - we like to support local events. For example we usually have a large group of Samaritans on the Pride March.

Please get in touch if you would like us to come to your office, company, school, college or community group to offer any of these inputs.

Our Work in HMP Manchester (Strangeways) and HMP Forrest Bank

Manchester Branch supports prisoners at both HMP Manchester (Strangeways) and HMP Forrest Bank through Listener Schemes. The Listener Scheme is a peer support scheme. We select, train and support prisoners to offer confidential emotional support to their fellow inmates.

You can follow us on Twitter @SamsManchester

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.


Manchester and Salford Samaritans, a charity registered in England (1173721). Manchester and Salford Samaritans is a recognised branch of Samaritans.