Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Volunteering With the Samaritans


Along with the opening of a new bus station in Swindon, the first human heart transplant and the launch of the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band LP – 1967 saw Swindon & District Samaritans take its first phone calls.

Throughout the last 50 years, Swindon & District Samaritans has continued to offer emotional support to anyone who is struggling to cope, including those who may be feeling suicidal, 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. This support can be provided confidentially by email, letter, text and face to face as well as via the telephone.

Recognising the difference these 50 years have made within our community is where Swindon & District Samaritans need your help, please. In this special year, we are looking for people to join us either as volunteers offering emotional support or in a variety of roles supporting the work that we need to run our branch. There are 130 volunteers based in the branch at 6 Curtis Street, Swindon - the majority of these undertake shifts to provide emotional support.

Listening volunteers come from all walks of life and are united by their common commitment to support others when times are difficult – people can talk to Samaritans at anytime they like and in their own way about whatever’s getting to them. They don’t have to be suicidal.

Recently-trained Swindon and District volunteer Fiona Cowlam said: The training is very thorough but it has to be, you need to support people at a very vulnerable time in their lives and you need to protect your own mental health whilst doing so. 

“Coupled with the branch mentoring scheme, which allows you to "train on the job" with an experienced volunteer, I felt I had all I needed to start taking calls on my own.”

Alongside volunteers from Salisbury branch, Swindon and District volunteers also help to run the Prison Listener scheme, at Erlstoke prison near Devizes, which provides peer support in jail. They also provide outreach in schools, community groups and Jobcentres and provide support to the Mental Health Liaison Team where people leaving their care welcome additional support from Samaritans.

To find out more, without any obligation, please come along to one of the following Information Events at 6 Curtis Street in Swindon:

·        Saturday 8 July: 10-12:00
·        Tuesday 8 August: 19-21:00
·        Saturday 2 September: 10-12:00

To book your place – please email:, ring the branch on 01793 512490 or call into the Samaritans shop at 6 Curtis Street in Swindon and leave your contact details.

Anyone can contact Samaritans and can call for free any time from any phone on 116 123 (this number is FREE to call and will not appear on the phone bill), email, or visit Swindon & District Samaritans at 6 Curtis Street, Swindon

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