Saturday, 22 July 2017

A Call To Arms


It's a sad fact that whilst calls to Samaritans are on the up ( and considerably on the up since the introduction of it's freephone number 116123!) the number of volunteers the organisization has to deal with calls from the suicidal, the distressed, the unhappy and the lonely are dwindling rapidly.
There are many factors that have come into play to explain this worrying trend. Volunteer apathy and the fact that the baby boomers no longer have the spare time they once had to give to altruistic endeavours may be partly to blame where as , busier lives, competition from the more " sexy" charities and changes to the charity practice have their own parts to play in people leaving the service.
Whatever the reason, my local branch of Samaritans is now down to just 25 members. ( see link below) and we despirately need new blood
http://www.rhyljournal.co.uk/news/178333/rhyl-samaritans-plea-for-volunteers.

Samaritan training is comprehensive, interesting, thoroughly supportive and at times great fun. It provides a chance for you to give something back to the community. A community that sadly needs a service where kindness, a little warmth, some common sense and a listening ear is often all that is required to keep someone on the straight and narrow.

18 comments:

  1. I applaud you for your work with The Samaritans and hope that this blogpost may stir one or two of your local readers into action. I guess your own commitment to The Samaritans will be a little easier to fit in now that you have retired from nursing. Keep up the good work!

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  2. Sounds perfect for you, and I hope others join in!

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  3. I suppose that is our equivalent of Life Line. Elephant's Child volunteers at Life Line. I expect here they have the same problem. We also have another called Beyond Blue, which I don't care for as it was set up by a former State Premier who was arrogant and never governed for the less well off in society. It was also called homophobic by some. Its focus is on depression and does do some good things, but it is not an organisation I will ever have time or money for.

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  4. I remember 20 or 30 years ago the Samaritans used to have a much higher profile than they do today. I don't know why this should be or whether I am just imagining it. I can see that the demand must be as high as it has ever been. It seems to be a bit forgotten and has an image problem. I, totally wrongly, associate it only with the railway lines here and the sign at each crossing gate that says don't forget to ring The Samaritans and the phone number.

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    1. There are often Samaritan signs outside the level crossing where I live too Rachel usually after a fatality has taken place. :(

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  5. Rachel is right, you hardly ever hear the word 'Samaritans' mentioned these days, just when the need is probably higher than ever.

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  7. I don't think I have the right personality or temperament to do this..and yet think it is a marvelous service.

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  8. No I don,t either, did 10 sessions on the phone line about 8 years ago, after training, so many calls were guys masturbating wanting a female voice when doing so. Perception was samaritains are female. Could not handle that!. Sure they were lonely but I could not provide that service. Yes some genuine calls, and holding out a hand was precious, 2 phoned the line later to thank me for listening. Just I,m not the right person, glad some are.

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  9. I volunteered for the training some years ago John. (my brother was a Samaritan for years) but I found that my significant hearing loss made it so difficult for me to hear what people said on the phone - particularly those who were distressed, so I pulled out quite early on.

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  10. My daughter-in-law is a High School Teacher and has just finished her Samaritans training.

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  11. Andrew is right. It is much the same here. Though our local branch is working overtime to keep the numbers up.

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  12. As someone who has much experience rounding up volunteers, I would tell you to ask the busiest people that you know. Seems like those people always can cram more volunteer work into their days and nights....no problem! The ones who can't are the people who are always going around saying how frigging busy they always are!

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  13. I had an initial chat last year, but the details of men phoning for a dirty talk stopped me going any further. I admire anyone who assists such a vital service and have used it myself in the past x

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  14. I have great admiration for those who do this work. It's not for everyone. Hopefully you will get some new volunteers.

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  15. I did it for a while when I was in my thirties, but got fed up of listening to blokes doing rude things to themselves. I would struggle to take on the role now because of my hearing loss, almost deaf in one side. Good luck with your recruitment drive, it's a service very much needed.

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  16. Baby Boomers seemed to be *the* volunteer generation. At the Red Cross, where I volunteer, the Boomers are slowly beginning to 'retire' from their commitments. Gen Xers like myself are not filling in the gaps fast enough. -don't know how the latest generation rates when it comes to volunteer service.

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  17. I don't think I have the right personality or temperament to do this..and yet think it is a marvelous service.


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