The women’s centre:  Lest you should think I’ve abandoned my pledge to become a volunteer at a women’s refuge centre, here is the latest update.  The next training session is planned to start in the Autumn but that’s still to be confirmed, as is my actual place on the course.  It will be a five-day course held locally on five consecutive Saturdays so it’s not as intense as I first thought and it gets the intolerably long school Summer holiday out of the way. 

sams_logo.gifIn the meantime, strangely enough, the other day I was handed a card by a Samaritan representative and on the card was information and a request for help.  Given that for a long while I have been feeling a strong pull towards helping the less fortunate, this seemed way too kismet-like for me to ignore.  So, I called the number while praying to the gods that I hadn’t been mistaken – that it wasn’t the actual Samaritan Helpline number and I would be greeted by a sympathetic listening ear ready to absorb all my woes. 

It wasn’t.  And they do need help.  The thing is, this particular charity is more demanding of its volunteers than most others and it relies on big commitment from its helpers.  I guess this is why the charity is actively recruiting helpers.  Personally speaking,  with three kids, a job and a husband who is away more than he’s home, I might find it hard to meet the challenge.  But meet it I will try. 

The main requirements seem to be to have the ability to listen with patience and empathy . . . to be able to listen without prejudice and to offer options rather than advice.  And to be open-minded and non-judgemental. 

So I ask myself . . .  based on those principles, would I qualify?  Yes. 

I then ask myself . . .  could I face up to the distress of listening to people’s harrowing problems on a regular basis?  I think so. 

I then ask myself, importantly . . .  could I manage the time and the commitment and still have enough patience and emotional energy left for my family?  I hope so.

Whatever happens, my family comes first.  We shall see.

To finish off, here are a few little Samaritan facts:

  • Around the world more people die from suicide than from war or murders.
  • 5 million people have died from suicide since the year 2000.
  • 121 million people suffer from depression.
  • During just one Big Brother TV programme, the Samaritans recieve 600 telephone calls, 80% of them are about all kinds of emotional stresses and worries, such as money and work issues, exam stress, body image, bullying, domestic abuse, isolation, loneliness, addictions, self harm – and many more kinds of issues.

5 responses to this post.

  1. Strange about the Samaritans.

    I applied, filled up the forms
    a lady rang to call me to an interview
    said she would ring back with date time and venue.
    It all went silent.

    After a while, I got a letter of apology, no explanation given,
    but had enclosed a form to reapply, which I did.
    Nearly a year now, I am yet to hear.

    No, I am not going to hold my breath again. 😉


  2. little indian

    Charities are well known for being administratively chaotic. Probably to do with their lack of funding?


    Your spirit seems to have a very strong pull towards helping and doing so via these very worth while charities sounds sensible. But yes, your family must come first.


  3. You are a sensible person, Earthpal, and you know better how to handle both your family and the charity. What you must try by all means is not to let yourself down.


  4. Little Indian, no, please don’t hold your breath again. Lol.
    I am having a similar experience with the women’s refuge. I shall have to wait and see what the Samaritans do but I think Matt has a good point in that underfunding hinders the administration department of such charities.

    Thanks for the advice you guys…xxx


  5. […] Samaritans:update September 1, 2007 Filed under: Moments, Humanity — earthpal @ 11:09 am An update on my previous update.  […]


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