Volunteers wanted for Samaritans

Information meetings on Saturday and Sunday

Samaritans is looking for Galwegians to help people in distress.

The charity, which provides 24 hour support for people experiencing feelings of despair, including those which may lead to suicide, will hold two information evenings in the Harbour Hotel in Galway on Saturday at 11am and Monday September 5 at 8pm.

Samaritans Galway director William Browne says the charity would not survive if it were not for volunteers.

"Samaritans is entirely dependent on voluntary support. It’s a challenging experience and it can be very rewarding, knowing that you may have made a difference," he says.

Mr Browne says the Samaritans will ensure volunteers are fully prepared after attending a series of eight or nine preparation sessions within a group, and learning about active listening and different types of calls by taking part in skills practice exercises and group discussion.

The charity holds two training sessions per year, in spring and autumn, but participants will to need to attend one of the information evenings where they will have the chance to speak with other volunteers.

"Volunteers will train, learn and then work with a group of people who will act as informal back-up. There will be experienced volunteers on hand to support newcomers when they are on the phones or in the visitor room. Volunteers are never left to cope with difficult calls on their own," Mr Browne says.

Samaritans’ vision is for a society in which fewer people die by suicide; people are able to explore their feelings, and able to acknowledge and respect the feelings of others.

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