Frequently asked Questions
Our Branch Location
Our Work in Prisons
How did it all start?
Contact Information for Samaritans Bradford Branch
Links for Bradford Samaritans
What's it like being a Samaritan Volunteer
If you’re reading this, you’re probably curious about the life of a Samaritan. We are ordinary people, of all ages and backgrounds, who listen unhurriedly to people who are in a crisis, despairing or suicidal.
What Kind of People Are We Looking For?
A natural ability to listen and to empathise is a pre-requisite. If you are prepared to be there to support someone at a difficult time in their lives, and at the same time resist any urge to instruct, advise or thrust your own point of view onto someone else, we want to hear from you.
If you can listen without prejudice to someone's experience, someone who's beliefs may be very different to your own, and still be able to empathise, then we want to hear from you.
Following application, you will be invited to an selection day. This is an opportunity for you to find out more about being a Samaritan, and for us to see if you would be suitable. Selection is always a two-way process, there are some people who we decide are not suited to this particular role, and there are others who decide that being a Samaritan is not for them.
If you would like to donate time to the organisation, but you feel that being on the end of the phone is not ideal for you, why not donate a few hours of your time to helping us at our shop in Shipley.
So what now?
Well, you can read on, and find out a little bit more. You can also contact the branch on Bradford 547547, and a member of the recruitment team will be in touch as soon as possible.
Hang on, not so fast!
No commitment, honest. Just to find out more.
What happens next?
If you are interested, you will be asked to fill in an application form, and then attend the next recruitment day. These are usually held 3 times a year. There will also be an interview shortly after the recruitment day. We aim to make the recruitment events and interviews as friendly and informal as possible. You will have the opportunity to ask questions, and at the interview we will ask about your background, life experiences, and reasons for wanting to be a Samaritan.
But I've never done any counselling
Good, there's no need to have. We don't give advice to people. If you are recruited, you will attend a series of preparation classes, in which life-like situations are acted out and discussed, and you will be taught how can help our callers.
I couldn't listen to all that sad stuff. How do you sleep?
Well, not every shift is about life and death for a start. Sometimes, the satisfaction is just in being there when you are needed. But, sad stuff, well, you will always have a colleague with you on every shift. Also, there is always someone at the end of a phone for us, to support and offload to at the end of every shift. You will never be alone.
What if someone says they have committed a crime?
We listen to them.
That's all, no police?
We can't trace calls. Everything is completely confidential within the organisation.
What if someone says they are going to take their own life?
Well, we hope they won't. We wouldn't be Samaritans if we didn't believe that listening could help to reduce distress and despair.
You'll tell them not to do it?
No. Samaritans believe in the right of the individual to do as they choose, including the right to take their own life. We hope that they don't, and that talking will help them to see other options. We do ask every caller if they are having suicidal thoughts.
So, what's in it for me?
A lot. You'll be joining a great team of around 90 people in our local branch, aged between about 18 to 70+, as well being part of a much larger national movement. You'll make friends, feel good, and really feel that you are helping others. You'll also develop skills in listening and relating, which could be useful at work and at home, and learn how to support people who are depressed or bereaved. But best of all...........
Hearing something like, "I was desperate when I rang. Didn't know if I could go on. I feel I can cope with today now. Thanks for being there."