Volunteer story - Charlotte

Charlotte Cox became Samaritans’ youngest Branch Director at the age of 23. She gave us her perspective on the unique challenges of undertaking such a role on the island of Guernsey.

"Having lost two of my schoolmates to suicide, I think Samaritans was on my radar from a young age. When I looked into the service and decided to apply to become a volunteer in October 2009, I was very much of the mind set of ‘Why isn’t everyone a Samaritan?’ After all, it takes so little to help so many people.

"After becoming a volunteer, I got involved with fundraising and awareness activities at the branch as soon as I could. I became a member of the team that supports prisoners and eventually became the Outreach Deputy Director.

"I took on the role of director at the branch. The position involved being responsible for the day-to-day management of the branch so our service can be carried out as effectively as possible. I was absolutely terrified in the first week in the role! My fellow volunteers have always been very supportive of me, and I loved seeing the whole branch step up when something needs to be done. I definitely wouldn’t have been able to do it without such a great set of helping hands alongside me.

"I’ve learnt that it can, naturally, be a stressful role – but the pros definitely outweigh the cons. I’ve learnt that I can’t achieve everything by myself – but part of the job of a director is to delegate tasks to others.

"I have a full-time job at Barnados, which has been great for creating cross-contacts who are interested in both charities.  When I wanted to relax, I'd go to the gym – in some weeks it works, in others it’s impossible! I love being with my friends and relaxing over a glass of wine. You have to make time for yourself - if I didn’t, I’d be no use to anyone!"

Photo reproduced courtesy of The Guernsey Press