At the start of Volunteer Awareness Week Samaritans wanted to take the chance to say THANK YOU to all our hard working, wonderful volunteers. They donate many hours to answering our helpline. Without them, we wouldn't be able to operate and provide our confidential, non-judgmental listening service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And most of all be there to help others.
The theme for Volunteer Awareness Week is volunteering across the generations. Here at Samaritans age isn't a barrier. Our volunteers are everyday people who range in age from 20 to 80.
At 62 years of age, Rosemary is the longest serving volunteer with Wellington Samaritans - she has been a Sam (Samaritans volunteer) since 1966. “I started as soon as I was eligible after I left Secondary School.”
Rosemary, an IT tutor, became a volunteer because she “likes to help and there are a lot of lonely and depressed people out there – I like to stay with someone (on the phone) until they feel better. It’s best to be at the top of the cliff than at the bottom.”
Emily is one of the youngest Sams. She’s been a Sam for 2 ½ years and is now 23 years of age. She studies psychology at Victoria University and started volunteering in her first year as she felt it was worthwhile, she had some free time and “obviously it’s also interesting to me as a ‘psych’ student.” Being a Sam is immensely rewarding and Emily feels one of the most important things for the callers is to know that “someone cares”.