Christine Cunliffe, director of Samaritans’ Barnsley 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?
“Samaritans 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 raising awareness and organising events. Training and support is really comprehensive and you’re always working in a team.”
Every 6 seconds someone contacts Samaritans. 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.
Jane Hartill, volunteers at Barnsley’s Samaritans branch. She said: “Knowing you’ve made a difference to someone’s life is all the reward any of us needs. 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.”
Visit www.samaritans.org if you are interested in volunteering for Samaritans or contact the Barnsley branch direct by emailing [email protected] or call 01226 244447. You can also follow Samaritans on Twitter.