What else might I need to know?

We know you might have some questions about volunteering for Samaritans, so we've tried to answer some frequent questions below.

If we've missed anything out, you can contact our central volunteering team with your queries here.

  • To be a listening volunteer you need to be 18 by the time you have finished our training. You can apply for other roles under the age of 18
  • Certain volunteer roles require criminal record checks but if you have a record you may still be able to volunteer with us. Each case is considered individually, and you will be given the chance to tell us more about the offence if necessary. We handle criminal record information sensitively and confidentially. 
  • If you have used our services before this doesn’t prevent you from volunteering with us. To volunteer in the listening role, it is important that you are in the right place in your life to be able to support others and know when to take a break or ask for help.
  • Volunteers should not be out of pocket because of volunteering. Volunteers can have their travel and other out of pocket expenses reimbursed.
  • Our branches have different ways of covering the hours they are open so the hours you will asked to do as a listening volunteer might be different depending on where you volunteer. As a guide listening volunteers are asked to do a few hours a week and volunteer at night every 4-8 weeks based on opening hours and the number of volunteers at the branch. In other roles, the hours you will do will depend on the role you are doing and this can be agreed at the branch you volunteer with.
  • If you have a disability or other support needs, we will encourage you to let us know how we can best support you and what we can do to help you have the best volunteer experience possible
  • Police Officers and Special Constables (volunteer police officers) cannot be Samaritans listening volunteers because they have sworn an oath to prevent all offences. In some circumstances this could contradict with our policy on confidentiality. Police Community Support Officers are able to be listening volunteers and Police Officers and Special Constables can volunteer with us in any other role

Is there anything we haven’t answered? You can contact our central volunteering team with your queries here.

If you'd like to help support us in other ways, why not consider making a donation?