Ever wondered what it's like to be a Samaritan? In this series we will be showcasing volunteers stories, why they became Samaritans and what it's like to be a volunteer with us.
In 1974 I was living in Kent where I was born and one day there was an article in our local newspaper saying that our local branch of Samaritans was really in need of more volunteers. I told my husband I would like to give it a try; he couldn't see the point of Samaritans but he didn't try and stop me. So I answered the advert and in May 1974 I began my 45 years of Samaritans service.
I was 37 years old then and will be 82 later this year but I have never felt that I want to give up.
I even kept going when we moved to Suffolk, then when we bought a guesthouse in Scarborough and despite doing bed and breakfast and evening meals I still managed to keep going. Then 20 years ago my daughter and her husband moved to the Leeds area and we moved to be near her and I joined the Wakefield branch. The question is: why do I do it? The only answer I can give is that it makes me realise how lucky I am. When I listen to some callers I think how awful their lives must be. My husband died 10 years ago but then my son-in-law asked if I would like to live with my daughter and him so that even in my old age I am not living alone and isolated as so many of my friends are. I can only say that from my own experience, being a Samaritan really keeps you going and is well worth giving a try!
I told my husband I would give it a try.
- Patricia, Samaritans Volunteer