Support for volunteers

"When I listen to a caller's problems and fears it makes me think of my own life from a different perspective. It helps me forget about my own little problems and helps me to see what's good in my life.’

What support will you give me?

We make sure our volunteers are well looked after. After your thorough training (ten 3-hour modules over several weeks), you’ll be paired with a mentor (an experienced volunteer) who will support you during your first few calls, you won’t be expected to take them on your own. You’ll then receive ongoing training and be continually supported throughout your time as a volunteer.

We don’t want you to get too tired, so we limit the number of hours on shift any one volunteer can do at a time.

For every shift there’s a volunteer on hand, called a leader, to support you on duty. At the end of the shift, you can talk to the leader, sharing your feelings about the conversations you’ve had so you can discuss anything painful or difficult if you need to and review how you handled the call.

You’ll always be on duty with at least one other volunteer, so you can look after each other.

There are other kinds of support in a branch as well, such as a volunteer who you can call and talk to anytime about anything that’s bothering you.

"Before I joined Samaritans I was a bit worried about what it would be like answering the phone, but the training was really thorough and although I was still a bit nervous on my first shift, my group were very supportive and I feel more confident now."

Related links

It makes me feel great, after a lot of training, mentoring and building up of experience, to be able, at last, to call myself a fully qualified Samaritans volunteer.

Still not sure about volunteering for Samaritans?

If you have any queries about volunteering with the Samaritans, please contact the National Volunteer Recruitment team:

  • Tel: 03705 62 72 82 (UK) or 1890 200 091 (Republic of Ireland)
  • Email:
  • Write: Samaritans, Volunteering Department, The Upper Mill, Kingston Road, Ewell, Surrey, KT17 2AF