Samaritans hosting events to appeal to new volunteers

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Hastings and Rother Samaritans are looking for new volunteers who feel they could offer those experiencing distress or despair a listening ear.

The branch is planning to host two information events next month, which will provide information for those who would like to find out more about what being a Samaritan involves.

Both sessions will take place at the branch in 26 St Andrew’s Square, Hastings, on Tuesday February 5 at 7pm and Saturday February 9 at 10am.

Anyone interested is welcome to join either session, which should each last about 90 minutes.

Volunteer Esther told the Observer: “We are looking for folk who are interested in helping people going through a difficult and tough time.

“You have to be able to listen without giving advice, be open minded and non-judgemental.

“Volunteers work in a close knit team.

“In depth training will be provided, where our new volunteers will learn to do something special.”

Once new volunteers have completed their training, they will be expected to commit to 16 hours a month (four hours a week), answering phones, emails and text messages from those seeking the services of the charity.

As well as recruiting listening volunteers, the branch is also keen to hear from people who would like to take on a supporting volunteer role.

This could include helping with fundraising and administration.

Listening and support volunteers hail from across 1066 Country, from Hastings, Bexhill, Battle, Rye and villages in rural Rother.

Some even come from as far as Kent to help at the branch.

Samaritans offers a 24/7 hour service throughout its network of 201 branches throughout the UK.

The helpline number is 116 123.