What made you decide to become a volunteer?
Over the last few years I‘ve been dealing with depression. Recently I was worried that I might relapse, so I text Samaritans. The support I received was invaluable and it was a real comfort knowing there was always someone there to answer my call. I wanted to give something back but I wasn’t ready to be a Listening Volunteer. I was thrilled to learn that I could use my PR skills to help my local branch as their Publicity Officer.
What does your role involve?
My role is very exciting and involves spreading the word about my local branch. This could be via writing a news item for the Samaritans website, sending a press release to journalists, arranging an interview with a local radio station, or tweeting to my branch’s local MP! I also seek out opportunities to advertise our volunteering opportunities and enjoy attending my branch’s community outreach events to take photos and interview members of the public.
What’s the best thing about volunteering?
The best thing about volunteering is meeting people who - just like me - are happy to give up their time and energy to work towards a cause they believe in. I haven’t volunteered at Samaritans for very long but already I’ve made great friends and I’m looking forward to attending some of my branch’s social events!
What advice would you give to someone thinking about volunteering for Samaritans?
Get in touch with your local branch and ask any questions you may have. Volunteering is a huge commitment and you want to be sure that the role is right for you and can fit in with your lifestyle.
In the future I’d like to be a Listening Volunteer but at the present time I’m not ready to take on this role. I felt sad when I first came to this realisation but I’ve since realised that being a Support Volunteer is just as valuable for the people who need to talk to Samaritans. So if publicity, fundraising, IT or being your local branch’s Treasurer is more your cup of tea, get in touch with Samaritans today!