Time for good Samaritans to answer the call for help

Portsmouth and East Hampshire Samaritans has launched its 2016 hunt for more volunteers because of continued demand.

Tuesday, 1st March 2016, 6:23 am
The Samaritans need volunteers to man the phone lines 365 days a year, 24 hours a day

The charity, which provides confidential around-the-clock support for anyone needing to talk to someone in complete confidence, relies totally on maintaining a healthy bank of volunteers to keep its lines open.

Those who offer some of their time can come from all walks of life, from 18-year-olds to the retired.

Based at 298 London Road, Portsmouth, the branch covers the whole of East Hampshire including Gosport, Fareham, Wickham and Petersfield.

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As part of its recruitment drive, the Portsmouth branch will hold monthly information evenings at which people can learn about the charity, the rewards of volunteering and meet some of the current team.

The next meeting is from 7pm-9pm tomorrow at 298 London Road.

Mary Noble, the director of the branch, said: ‘Samaritans is open 24/7 – that means having enough volunteers to be contactable nearly 9,000 hours a year.

‘At our branch we like to have a community of about 100 people who we have fully trained so they can be there for others – by phone, e-mail, text or face-to-face.

‘We have a continual need for new volunteers who can offer us at least three hours a week on average.

‘Our main need is always for listening volunteers – the more we have being trained the more confident we are of the future.

‘But we also love volunteers who can help us with areas like fundraising, outreach, publicity and administrative support.’

Local businesses are also being encouraged to sponsor members of staff to become volunteers as part of their own personal development.

The Portsmouth branch is also keen to attract companies interested in adopting the service as their charity of the year.

More information can be found at samaritans.org/portsmouth.

Anyone interested in attending the meeting can call (023) 9269 6975.