Chapter 5: Priority 1: Access

1. Make sure anyone who needs us can access our support

Our challenge

We cannot always meet the demand for Samaritans’ services and there is a risk that people who are trying to contact us can’t get through or get the response they need.

Our ambition

People will be able to access our support whenever they need it and get through to us in a way that works for them.

Scottish objectives:

1. We will champion the recruitment and retention of volunteers across Scotland so that we play our part in ensuring sustainable access to Samaritans’ services, including a particular focus on:

  • Working with our Scottish branches to increase capacity by becoming more diverse and inclusive, better reflecting the communities we serve.
  • Supporting new approaches to increase the capacity of volunteers in Scotland at times of high demand for our service.
  • Testing the promotion of new, flexible volunteering options, starting in the West Highland mainland and Skye.

2. We will improve how we promote Samaritans’ full range of services for anyone in Scotland struggling to cope, showing the Scottish people that we are active in their communities and are relevant to them, whenever they need us.

Reaching out to remote and rural communities means we can properly address the specific issues caused by isolation – our new project in West Highlands and Skye is just the start.

Keith Walker, Volunteer at Inverness Samaritans and Deputy Regional Director for Scotland

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