Samaritans branches in Kent are recruiting volunteers to be there for people at night time. Branches based in Ashford, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Maidstone, Rochester and Orpington offer a 24/7 service for anyone struggling to cope. They can be contacted by phone, email, text or by face-to-face at the branches.
Although based in these areas, these branches actually cover the entire county. To continue offering this service, they are looking to recruit new volunteers to help staff the phonelines at night.
Samaritans responded to more than 5.4m calls for help in the UK in 2017.
Janet, a volunteer at Ashford and Tenterden branch, said: “It’s an amazing thing to be involved in. It’s so fulfilling. The group of volunteers you meet are so enjoyable to be with and the sense of worthwhileness is one of things that has kept me here for so many years.
“We are always looking for volunteers who have the right skills and they should feel free to get in touch, even if they are hesitant, because the training here is excellent. It’s some of the best training you will get in your career.
It’s about the quality of the listening. What you are listening for is very often not articulated by the caller, it’s there in things like tone, what is missed out, what they are not telling you. But we do talk to our callers as well. Patience is important.
We’re looking for those that can commit to listening at night time. The charity’s helpline is at its busiest at night and over weekends when social and mental health services are sometimes shut.”
Potential volunteers can get in touch at Samaritans.org