Meet three inspirational volunteers from Samaritans Sevenoaks
Recently, My Sevenoaks Community were privileged to visit The Samaritans hub in Sevenoaks, where we chatted to a few of the dedicated volunteers who lend an ear to those in need of a friendly voice. By giving a little of their time and compassion each week, these volunteers not only provide an outlet for those struggling to cope, but also gain much personal fulfilment from their roles as volunteers.
One of these volunteers is Antoine. A truly inspirational young man, he began volunteering for Sevenoaks Samaritans age just 18. Wanting to give back to society, Antoine decided that using his time and energy to focus on other people would provide a chance to understand the greater issues faced by others, as well as giving perspective to his own life. Like all the listeners we spoke with, Antoine highlighted what a privilege it is to work with this amazing charity. By being able to lend an ear to a voice on the other end of the line, Antoine expressed his appreciation for the trust people put in him when they share their thoughts and inner most feelings, and he is thankful knowing that he ‘gave them more than they had before they called’. He also praised the strong support network that all volunteers are provided with at the end of their shifts.
Another superb addition to the team at Sevenoaks is Olivia, who shared with us her experiences as a volunteer, and emphasised how Samaritans have taught her the value of ‘really listening to people’. Similarly, to Antoine, Olivia’s selfless nature is admirable. Using skills from past experiences, Olivia’s weekly shifts with Samaritans are indispensable to callers. Olivia noted that ‘simply being there and listening is what matters the most’. As well as being a listening volunteer, she is also involved in the admin and recruitment for this exceptional organisation.
The final volunteer we spoke with was Elizabeth, who is also an indispensable asset to the Sevenoaks Team. Having worked as a nurse in the past, her kind and caring nature makes her ideal in her work as a Samaritan volunteer. By giving her time to those in need of a compassionate voice, Elizabeth said that she feels ‘honoured’ that people feel that they can talk to her, and she has gained a sense of fulfilment and purpose in knowing how many people she has helped. One thing that is very important to Elizabeth is the camaraderie she feels among the team in the Sevenoaks branch. With opportunities to mix within the wider community, from fairs to station visits, Elizabeth said that her role has given her ‘a new lease of life’.
We came away from this meeting feeling truly inspired by three different generations of volunteers, and their selfless efforts to help others. The training provided is exceptional, and the network from within enables the volunteers to face the challenges and respond to calls for help.
To find out more about becoming a volunteer or for an informal and friendly chat about what it takes to become a Samaritan please contact Olivia at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to donate to the Sevenoaks Hub click HERE
If you are interested in learning more about joining the Sevenoaks team, then please follow the link below: