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18/09/2021

Can you help support someone who is struggling? Samaritans in Derry issue appeal for new volunteers

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Derry Samaritans is opening its doors to new volunteers by letting them know about the different ways they can help with the running of the branch and supporting people who are struggling. This Volunteers’ Week (June 1-7) they are highlighting the range of roles available to help save lives and the different people who fill them - and it’s not limited to listening. Samaritans volunteers come in all ages, shapes and sizes, and from diverse backgrounds. Some have disabilities, many work full-time and many having caring responsibilities or are trying to improve their employability skills; everyone is welcome to apply to the Derry branch, which is based at 16 Clarendon Street. As well as training as a listening volunteer, you can fundraise for the branch, get involved in marketing and publicity, flex your IT skills, help with organisation and admin tasks. Everyone has experience they can draw on, and volunteering benefits volunteers and their well-being, as well as the people they support. Mary Deery, pictured above, has been a listening volunteer for Samaritans for 12 years. “I came to Samaritans at a crossroads in my life, when my children were growing older and needed me less and less. I had put my life and career on hold and found myself feeling that I had more to offer the world but didn't know how," she said. “During my time with Samaritans I have learned so much. I’ve grown and developed as a person and the sense of satisfaction I get from knowing I was able to help and support someone is the best feeling. I feel lucky because as a Samaritans volunteer I can take part in lots of training and learning opportunities which aren’t available anywhere else. “For me, Samaritans is a family and we offer each other help and support whenever we need it - whether we are dealing with something personal in our lives or with a challenging call. My experience of volunteering with Samaritans has been life-changing. It takes commitment and dedication, but you’ll be paid back a hundredfold.” Samaritans volunteers are ordinary people who learn new skills or adapt what they already know. As Mary’s story above shows, there are different roles available at our 201 branches in the UK and Ireland. A spokesperson said: "We’re available 24 hours every day and we listen to our callers." Anyone can contact Samaritans for free any time from any phone on 116 123. This number won’t show up on your phone bill. Or email jo@samaritans.org, or visit www.samaritans.org to find details of your nearest branch, where you can talk to one of our trained volunteers face to face.

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