Hear from volunteers who've supported our award-winning Prison Listener scheme.
When Listeners first start training, they are a bit tentative – and then they blossom. They acquire a sense of purpose and respect from their fellow inmates, who look up to them. For some men, it’s a revelation, as it takes them out of their own bubble and into someone else’s.
Stella, Samaritans volunteer
Volunteering in prison
People often express interest in becoming involved in our prison support work.
Usually, Samaritans who volunteer in prisons are more experienced volunteers. It is recommended that they have been members of their branch for at least six months, before applying to the branch prison support team. Each application is considered on an individual basis, and volunteers will need to be cleared by the prisons security team.
It is important to understand that volunteering in prisons, like any outreach work, is taken on in addition to the core service we provide by phone or email.
The first step to exploring your interest in prison support is to find out more about becoming a Samaritans volunteer. Your local branch would be delighted to hear from you.
I get a tremendous sense of achievement because you see people change. I particularly remember one young man who kept his head lowered and never said very much, although he took it all in, and gradually he came out of his shell and gained so much more confidence. It was very satisfying to see him change so much and become a Listener.
Maureen, Samaritans volunteer