Because I’ve got a new job in Dubai starting soon, I’ve resigned from Sams. For the last 4 year or so, at least once a week (apart from when I’ve been away) I’ve been ‘a listener’. A volunteer Samaritan. A bloke at the end of a phone that helped people in emotional distress, often people who were feeling suicidal. I tracked the early days – the selection process, through the training and eventual qualification into fully fledged Samaritan listener through this site (I’ve tagged all posts with samaritans). I didn’t feel right writing about it once I was practicing, so I didn’t. I’m obviously going to respect the lifelong pledge I made, never to divulge info.
I can’t express how much I’ve truly valued my time being a Sam. Enjoy is the wrong word, but I know I’ve saved lives, i know I’ve helped some people out of some really bad places. I feel incredibly rewarded by this and blessed that I had the opportunity to do it. I also feel like I’ve developed so much as a person. For example, I understand so much better how to listen – properly – with empathy, which has genuinely helped me in my day to day job and personal life.
Maybe one day I’ll pick it up again (I’ll have to do the training again). If you’re reading this because you’re toying with the idea of being a Sam, I would wholeheartedly say – go for it. It’s an incredibly rewarding thing to do and you do have the power to make such a difference. Selection evenings are ‘no strings’ way for you to explore the idea. Contact sams to find out more. All the volunteers are by virtue of what they’re doing alone, are a lovely bunch of folk. You’ll get full training and as much tea and biscuits as you can handle. Give it a go.