Martina's volunteering story

The reason I became a volunteer was the result of a phone call I made to Samaritans in 1996 when I was going through a tough time personally.

It was a tough decision to make the call but at the end of it I was so glad I did. The volunteer who answered had a very calm and smoothing voice, she really listened and the absence of judgement was very apparent.

The power of unprejudiced, non-judgmental listening cannot be overstated and that’s what spurred me to become a volunteer.

The training really opened my eyes to the issues that affect people’s lives and how by gentle coaxing, people will open up and finally talk to someone about what is in some case having a devastating impact on their lives.

What helps me to deal with the stresses of life and thus enables me to be available empathically to people is running. I took up running in my 50th year, it was slow progress but eventually I completed several 5km and 10km then moved to half marathons and eventually got to complete the Dublin city marathon - twice.

Joining Samaritans was life changing for me. I cannot stress enough how rewarding an experience it continues to be. I’m so glad someone was there to listen to me when I needed it, I hope to be there offering that listening ear for many more years.

Martina. 15 years a volunteer. Runner. Listener.

“I cannot stress enough how rewarding an experience it continues to be”