Be there for people who desperately need someone.
Our incredible volunteers run more than 200 branches and locations across the UK and Ireland. They offer their time to help to deliver our 24-hour emotional support service in many ways, from answering telephones and emails, to fundraising, generating publicity, administration and finance.
Anyone who wants to help others and is tolerant and open-minded is welcome to apply. As a member of the military community, you’ll also have the opportunity to support our dedicated listening service for veterans.
Where are we currently recruiting?
Enquiring won't take long, but make sure you've read everything on this page first.
When you get to ‘Where did you find out about volunteering with us?’ on the application form, please remember to select the ‘Military recruitment campaign’ option in the drop-down menu.
We are currently only recruiting listening volunteers, as part of our military recruitment campaign, at the branches listed above. If you would like to volunteer for Samaritans but do not live in or near the places listed above, you can still register your details at your local branch, but please be patient as you may have to wait for a place to become available.
What you get out of being a volunteer
Above all you’ll have the incredible satisfaction of knowing you’re helping people who are struggling to cope. In addition, you’ll learn valuable new skills, make new friendships, and be part of an amazing group of people.
"What I didn’t really consider before I became a volunteer was how much I would get out of it."
Alex, Cpl in the RAF and Samaritans Volunteer
Want to find out more about volunteering with us?
There are lots of ways you can volunteer for Samaritans, it all depends on what skills you have and how much time you’ve got to give. Listening volunteers answer calls and messages from people who really need someone to talk to.
More about volunteering with Samaritans
Do you offer study or work experience placements?
We do not offer study or work experience placements. However, we do recognise that volunteering for our service could offer you some valuable transferrable skills. We do ask that given the time and resources involved in training as a volunteer that you can commit to at least a year.
Can I volunteer if I have used Samaritans service before?
You can volunteer if you’ve used our services before, and if you have experience of mental health conditions. The important thing is that you’re self-aware, in the right place in your life to be able to support others and know when you need to ask for support from your branch or take a break.
When you apply to be a volunteer, we won’t specifically ask if you’ve used Samaritans services before, or about any mental health diagnoses you may have had. In your interview we will ask you why you want to volunteer with Samaritans, about any time you may have needed support and how you have offered your support to others.
Can I volunteer with Samaritans if I have a criminal record?
Samaritans is committed to safeguarding those that use our service, which includes carrying out background checks on certain volunteer roles. We actively promote equality of opportunity for all and welcomes applications from a wide range of applicants.
If you have a criminal record it won't necessarily stop you from becoming a volunteer. Each case is considered individually, on its merits and we do not discriminate unfairly against any applicant based on a conviction or criminal record information disclosed to us. We will rely on consent and you will be given the chance to tell us more about the offence if necessary. For more information you can read our Criminal Records Vetting Policy.
Can I volunteer with Samaritans from overseas?
No. Samaritans operates throughout the UK and ROI and you do need to be based in these countries in order to volunteer with us.
The website www.befrienders.org lists international organisations who offer suicide prevention services and you could try there to look for an opportunity in your home country.
We are not able to support individuals with their visa applications.
Can I start straight away?
No. All of our volunteers have to undergo a recruitment and training process in all roles, and our volunteering is not something you can start immediately.
Does Samaritans pay volunteer expenses?
Yes. We believe you should never be out of pocket as a result of volunteering with us. We will reimburse reasonable travel and other out of pocket expenses incurred during their volunteering activities, in accordance with the branch’s Volunteer Expenses Policy.
If you are currently claiming any benefits, volunteering shouldn’t affect your right to claim. Please speak to your job coach or benefits adviser before starting to volunteer.