Volunteers are at the heart of Samaritans
You can make an amazing difference at Samaritans helping to support people around the UK and Ireland when they need someone to talk to or they are going through a difficult time in their life. We welcome and value every volunteer, from all walks of life.
Whatever your interests, experience or skills, we have a role for you, and we will train, mentor and support you in whatever role you choose to do.
There are a number of ways you can support Samaritans, from listening volunteers, to charity shops or marketing and PR volunteers.
From the satisfaction of helping someone through a tough time, to learning new skills or meeting like-minded colleagues, you get a lot back.
Samaritans are on the hunt for new volunteers to light up the night for callers by offering emotional support for people struggling to cope.
There are different ways you can support Samaritans as a volunteer.
We are known for the support we offer our callers on the phone but we also offer support by email, SMS, face to face and through written correspondence. Helping Samaritans in this way is known as a listening volunteer.
One thing that I always take away from a shift is the ‘feel-good factor’. Working in an environment with positive people and occasionally being told that just being there made all the difference to someone’s life, is reward enough for me."
However, you don’t have to be a listening volunteer and you can support us in many other ways which can include marketing, fundraising, outreach or a variety of administrative roles. Samaritans also has charity shops with volunteering opportunities available. These shops help raise vital funds to keep our services running.
Depending on the role you are interested in you will go through different steps to becoming a volunteer with Samaritans but there are some stages that every volunteer must go through:
Every volunteer must:
- Go to an information session
- Have an interview
- Provide references
- Attend the induction session of our training
Listening volunteers must also:
- Attend selection
- Go through our training
- Have a mentor
- Complete a probation period
What is an “information session”?
It is an opportunity for you to visit a branch, meet some volunteers and ask any questions you may have and we will give you all the information you need about volunteering with Samaritans.
What is “selection”?
To make sure we provide the best support to people who need us, we have to make sure we have the right people for the role and you also have the opportunity to decide if volunteering with Samaritans is the right thing for you. That’s why we have a selection process which involves group activities and an interview.
The whole process may take a few months depending on when branches hold their information, selection and training sessions. Most branches recruit 3 or 4 times a year.
I would advise someone who's thinking about volunteering to go to an open day at their local branch and find out about what it involves by talking directly to other Samaritans. And do it sooner rather than later! I regret not volunteering for Samaritans years ago!”
Where can I volunteer?
We have 201 branches across the UK and Ireland. if you’re not sure where you can volunteer you can use our branch finder to find which branch would suit you.
Why we need vols
Samaritans is a volunteer led organisation. As well as supporting people who need emotional support, our volunteers undertake outreach in the community, fundraise, and take on administrative roles, all of which are vital to ensure that the service remains available round the clock, every day of the year.
We positively welcome enquiries from all sections of the community, including Black and Minority Ethnic groups, people with disabilities and members of the LGBT community. Samaritans volunteers come from all walks of life; find out more about some of our volunteers here.
Find out more about volunteering by registering to be invited to an information session at your chosen branch.
If you'd like to help support us in other ways, why not consider making a donation?