Initial Training

Find out what happens to get you ready to take that first call

We don't just show you to the phones and leave you to talk to our callers. That would be unfair on both you and the people contacting us. We take time to prepare you for the types of calls you will take and familiarise you with the Nature of Services document that guides Samaritans. There are also a number of procedures you must be aware of when dealing with particular situations.

"We learned the value of not just hearing what is said to us, but actually listening. There is an important difference."

In addition to the practical side of the Initial Training, there is great emphasis placed on emotional support - if we fail to support each other then we cannot hope to be there for the people that ring us. Once you have passed through Initial Training, you will have the support of an experienced Samaritan who will be with you when you take your first calls. You will also speak with the Duty Leader at the end of each shift to talk about your calls and how you felt about them.

"I received a call after every session, it was a chance for me to discuss how I had got on in the session and how the topics we discussed had affected me."

Additional training is provided once you have done a few shifts which gives you further opportunity to discuss the calls you have recieved and answer any questions you may have.

"The level of support I got after the first part of Initial Training was brilliant. And it was great to meet up with the group I trained with to see how they were getting on as well"

Many of our new volunteers find Initial Training to be emotionally demanding in many ways, and find that their outlook on our work has changed dramatically by the end of the sessions. There is a high level of support from the week you start Initial Training right through to taking calls.

And despite the serious subject matter - the training sessions can be fun too.

As we cover a lot of important material throughout Initial Training that is built on at the following session, it is vital that you commit to attending all the sessions. You will be given advanced notification of the training dates at the Information Session.