Volunteer with Central London Samaritans
Every two minutes someone in the UK attempts suicide, every two hours someone succeeds in taking their own life. You could help make a difference by volunteering with Central London Samaritans.
Central London Samaritans is a volunteer led and run organisation. Over 450 of us regularly give ourtime to ensure that the helpline is available throughout the day and night for anyone experiencing feelings of distress or despair including those which could lead to suicide.
Whilst the majority of people contact us on the phone, Samaritans also receives a large number of text messages and emails as well as visitors coming to the branch to speak to a Samaritan in person, we also undertake outreach work in the community to reach those who may not otherwise have used our service. Alongside volunteers who provide our core service we have a number of support volunteer roles. Click here to find out more about support volunteer roles.
Our branch is based in 46 Marshall Street which is in-between Oxford and Picadilly Circus
If you are unsure whether Central London Samaritans is your nearest branch of the charity you can simply CLICK HERE to open a new window and view an interactive map of Samaritans branches – just enter your postcode and you will find out about which is the nearest branch to your home or work address.
Learn how to listen
Samaritans are ordinary people. We come from all walks of life, levels of education, backgrounds and cultures.
We welcome people of all ages over 18 to come in and find out about how we work and why we do it.
You don’t need formal qualifications or previous experience to become a Samaritans volunteer, but a natural ability to listen and remain open minded are essential skills. It’s also important that volunteers are reliable and available regularly for their shifts to ensure that the branch never has to close.
All our volunteers receive intensive training in listening skills to help respond to people in crisis. We are looking for people who can empathise with our callers, and can be caring and understanding of their situation.
What’s the commitment?
Volunteers are asked to do one regular daytime shift or one evening shift every two weeks alongside one night shift every four weeks. This equates to roughly 15 hours every month.
For our charity to benefit from a new volunteer’s support equal to the amount of time which we spend on training and coaching them they would have to undertake at least 40 shifts in the branch.
We know that this is a big commitment of time and energy so we do ask everyone considering joining Samaritans to seriously think whether this would be possible at this stage in their lives prior to putting themselves forward for training.
We have a range of shifts to choose from being open 24/7. At present we have a shortage of volunteers that can do weekday daytimes and weekend shifts so if you are available at these times we will prioritize your application.
How do I become a volunteer?
Everyone who contacts us with a view to applying to become a Samaritan will be invited to an Information Hour. We run these very regularly so if you can’t make the next one there should only be a couple of weeks until the next available date. The information hour gives you the chance to find out about us, ask any questions you have and, if you would like to, to take away an application form.
There is no pressure to continue with the process following an information hour but if you are interested in what you have heard and feel that you have the ability and the time to support our callers over at least a year we would love for you to apply.
When you return your application form we will contact you if we have any queries. Then you will be invited to attend a Selection Day. These events are usually on a Saturday or Sunday. They consist of group exercises and a one-to-one interview. This will give you a better idea of what we do and gives us a chance to see if we feel you’re suitable to train with us.
Training with Central London Samaritans
If you are successful at the Selection Day you will attend a set of classes. You will learn about active listening and different types of calls by taking part in exercises and group discussions. If you are selected from the training classes you will join a shift supporting callers by telephone, email, text and face to face as a Samaritan.
What support would I get?
You will train, learn and then work with a group of people who will act as an informal back-up for you. When you are on shift there will always be experienced volunteers on hand to support you. Volunteers are never left to cope with a distressing call on their own.
A young and healthy man wants to kill himself. Do you tell him he has everything to live for? If you’re not sure how to answer we would really like to hear from you.