It is National Volunteer Week during the first week of June, so what does it take to be a volunteer?
One of the Ballymena Samaritans (whose service extends to Larne and Ballyclare) gave an insight into what to expect...
“I had some preconceived ideas about what it would be like to be a Samaritans volunteer and nearly all of them were wrong.
“I think I had it in the back of my mind that I was going to be one of a select band of people who had “life’s experience” to call on when dealing with people in distress.
“Not so, Samaritans volunteers, age between 18 and 80+ years, so there is no ageism.
“Our own experiences mean nothing when we are listening, really listening, to someone else because everybody deals with events in different ways so therefore our feelings are very different.
“Volunteers are from all walks of life, employed, unemployed, retired and those who are still studying. Samaritans in Ballymena are seeking volunteers – could you be a Samaritan?”
Are you a member of the ethnic community and speak good English?
Do you want to support your local community? Samaritans would welcome you as a volunteer.
For information, contact your nearest branch, between 7.30pm until 10.00pm, on 028 2565 0000. To find out more about becoming a volunteer you can also drop an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are in need of support, across the UK, you can call Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 or contact your local branch on 028 2565 0000, alternatively you can e-mail email@example.com or write to Samaritans at Chris, PO Box 9090, Stirling, FK8 2SA, or if you are deaf or hard of hearing use the single national minicom number 08457 90 91 92. Log on to www.samaritans.org for more information. Ballymena Samaritans also has a very strong outreach team, going out to schools, clubs, in fact any organisation that invites Samaritans to come and talk about the work we do.
If you would like to find out more about the service provided by Samaritans or if you would like a representative to come to your group, church or school please get in touch. Talks are tailored to suit different groups and ages. Contact the Ballymena branch on 028 2565 0000 daily between 7.30pm and 10.00pm or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.