Listening volunteer, Jerry, joined Coventry Samaritans in 2015. Here he tells us what first attracted him to Samaritans and the life changing impact it's had on him.
My interest piqued
On my first night of training as a Samaritans’ volunteer, I saw an image of a Samaritans tent offering emotional support at a music festival. I had no idea the charity's work extended to festivals (and what a lovely idea too). Neither did I realize that Samaritans works closely with Network Rail to reduce suicide, which struck me as immensely positive and fuelled my enthusiasm to learn more.
The far-reaching effects of Samaritans
The training is rigorous, yet sensitive, lively, yet thought-provoking and I found the sessions incredibly thorough and often demanding. This, along with the attentions of a very positive mentor, led me to soon believe that ‘yes, I can do this’! Everyone involved with training and supporting me have been professional, receptive and supportive and I began to apply the things I learned to situations in my own life too.
A strong team spirit
Another aspect of Samaritans that has had a profound effect on me is the sense of camaraderie amongst the team. During my shifts, I meet a variety of people from differing different, ages, experiences, and interests. Chatting in-between calls, sharing successes and disappointments and trading personal anecdotes have all helped to build the idea that we are in this together.
A difficult call
I recently received a call from someone who said they were in the process of taking their own life. It was the first call I’d received of this nature but sadly, I doubt it will be the last.