Samaritans on the lookout for new volunteers

11/7/14- The Samaritans in Hastings celebrating 50 years.  Maggie and Charlie SUS-141107-130801001
11/7/14- The Samaritans in Hastings celebrating 50 years. Maggie and Charlie SUS-141107-130801001

A charity, which offers a listening ear to people experiencing distress and despair, is looking for new volunteers to join the team.

Hastings and Rother Samaritans provides emotional support to anyone in distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide in 1066 Country and beyond.

Although the traditional way to reach Samaritans is via the helpline number, there is more to volunteering than just sitting in an office waiting for the phone to ring.

Volunteers are also answering an ever-increasing number of text messages and emails from people in need.

And when the Hastings branch reopens later this autumn following an extensive refurbishment, which includes improved disabled access, face-to-face visits will resume.

Once volunteers have completed their training and probationary period, there is also a chance for them to join the branch’s outreach team.

The team works with various organisations including the University of Brighton’s Hastings campus, Maidstone Prison and Woodlands Centre for Acute Care in St Leonards.

Although the branch is based in St Andrews Square in the middle of Hastings, its 65 volunteers come from far and wide.

Bexhill, Battle and Rye are all well represented in terms of volunteers, while one dedicated lady travels over from Hawkhurst in Kent for her shifts.

Volunteers come from all walks of life, from business owners to stay-at-home mothers, university students to the retired.

Samaritans is not a counselling service and no previous training is necessary.

Volunteers must be over 18.

To find out more about volunteering for the Hastings and Rother Samaritans, please call 01424 436666.

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