Become a Listening Volunteer

What it’s like being a listening volunteer

  • It’s always different and always interesting – no two conversations are the same.
  • It feels like a privilege to have people confiding in you.
  • You’re never on your own, and there’s a fun, supportive atmosphere in our branches.
  • You can offer support on the phone or email.
  • You can take a break between conversations whenever you need to.
  • Spending a few hours helping other people can make you feel good about yourself.

Can anyone be a listening volunteer?

Samaritans welcomes applications from a wide range of applicants.

Anyone has it in them to be a Samaritan. You won’t need to have previous experience or qualifications, but you will need to be non-judgemental and accepting of others.

It doesn’t necessarily matter if you’ve gone through difficult times yourself, what matters is that you want to help people – all kinds of people, from all walks of life.

Check out our Volunteer Stories page to hear more from rail industry staff who already volunteer with Samaritans and an informative interview with listening volunteer Paul Johnson on the Rail and Road podcast.

What kinds of conversations might I have?

People of all kinds contact us about all kinds of problems. It could be depression, loneliness, stressful situations at home or work, debt or abuse. We listen, give them a chance to get it out, and talk things through with them. Only about 1 in 5 calls or messages are from people feeling suicidal, and the vast majority of these aren’t actively planning to end their lives.

How do I become a listening volunteer?

To find our more information about becoming a listening volunteer please click here

The initial process:

1 – Complete the enquiry form online

You’ll go through some statements about the listening role and then complete our online enquiry form – it’s quick we just need a few details.

2 – Have an interview

This is an opportunity for us to get to know you and for you and us to find out if the role is right for you.

3 – Start your training

Our training covers everything you’ll need to feel comfortable in the role.