Volunteer story - Herbie

Herbie from Putney branch, gives his views on what makes volunteering for Samaritans so worthwhile.

"I had my first brush with volunteering when I was helping at an orphanage in Romania. The feeling that it gave me was something I’d never experienced before: it was inspiring and it made me realise how rewarding it was to help others in such a profound way.

"Ever since then I’d wanted to do something more regularly and, after seeing a poster on the tube appealing for Samaritans volunteers, I made an enquiry at my local branch in Putney and the rest is history! 
 
"I’ve always worked in very hands-on industries, first in construction and now as a self-employed electrician. My role as a Samaritans volunteer couldn’t be more different to my day job.  Volunteering with Samaritans is very flexible and I can fit it in around work and other commitments.

"I have developed a number of useful skills through volunteering with Samaritans. I’ve found that I’m a better listener which has helped me with colleagues and clients at work, and with personal relationships. I’m also much calmer when I’m in stressful situations.

"Such a wide variety of people from all walks of life become Samaritans– I’ve volunteered with teachers, qualified lawyers, musicians, students, retired people, workmen, bankers, actors and journalists. We all have one common goal – to support those who need us.

"One thing that I always take away from a shift is the ‘feel-good factor’. Working in a 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. It motivates me in the bad times and bolsters me in the good; this is how Samaritans, I think, should always be."