Samaritans thank ‘priceless’ volunteers

editorial image

Samaritans in Craigavon is celebrating Volunteers’ Week by saying a great big ‘thank you’ to its team of life-saving volunteers.

Volunteers’ Week is running from 1-12 June this year, and the local Samaritans group is taking the opportunity to voice its gratitude to dedicated team members.

Someone contacts Samaritans every six seconds. Across the UK and Republic of Ireland, more than 20,000 volunteers give well over five million hours of their time a year - responding to calls, fundraising, supporting people in prisons, workplaces and schools, and running its 201 branches. The charity estimates that paid employees would be earning the equivalent of £72m a year.

Karen, Director of the Samaritans’ Craigavon branch, said, “Life can be tough for anyone, and everyone deals with challenges in different ways. As Samaritans volunteers, we don’t judge, we’re here for absolutely anyone, and we want people to talk to us before they feel overwhelmed.

“I’d like to thank each and every one of our dedicated volunteers – the work they do is priceless. If you’re open-minded and feel that the moment is right in your life to give some time to others, why not think about volunteering with us?”

Local volunteer, Gareth, shared: “Just being there to listen, in confidence, to someone going through a tough time in their lives can be really helpful to that person. It could be family, work, money or relationship issues, or perhaps they’ve lost a loved one.

“Whatever they are dealing with, we listen and give people the courage to open up about what’s happening in their life and support them to get through.”

Samaritans volunteers are based in our 201 branches across the UK and Ireland, and they work in a variety of roles. Listening volunteers respond to calls, emails, letters and texts, as well as talking to people who call into the branch for support. Many others help with awareness raising and events. Training and support is really comprehensive and volunteers are always working in a team.

“We’re keen to hear from people who want to be listeners and also from those happy to help with fundraising, marketing, outreach work, and the day to day running of our branches,” explained Shirley, Deputy-Director at the Samaritans Craigavon branch.

“Volunteering with Samaritans is a win-win. You can offer your experience and knowledge and in return develop a whole new set of skills.”

Anyone can contact Samaritans for free on 116123, email jo@samaritans.org, or visit www.samaritans.org

To volunteer, visit www.samaritans.org and follow Samaritans on Twitter and Facebook