THOUGHTFUL people willing to help others are being sought by The Samaritans.
The Stratford and south Warwickshire branch of the charity is looking to recruit volunteers who can support people during times of distress.
They hope to take on another 20 people and will be holding an open evening at their offices in Shakespeare Street on Tuesday September 2 for those keen to discover more.
Currently serving Leamington, Warwick, Kenilworth and Redditch as well as Stratford, Alcester, Shipston, volunteers come from all walks of life.
After initial training, they are then asked to spend a few hours a week answering phone calls, emails, texts or seeing people in need of support.
“Samaritans are not professionals – just ordinary people who are good listeners and want to help others through difficult or distressing times in their lives.” said branch director Jill Young.
“Being a Samaritan is really worthwhile. It’s very satisfying being there for others if they need someone to talk to. Some people who call us are depressed, others need to discuss a problem and some are in despair or may even be suicidal.
“But our training means we are all able to handle the most difficult and desperate callers and hopefully help them through their crisis.”
In February the group was awarded £420,000 from the Town Trust through its £1million CommYOUnity Challenge, which will be used to carry out a major expansion.
This includes refurbishing new premises into a charities community hub, extending their outreach work in the community and building up their volunteer base.
She added: “In the next few years we want the hub to be a major focus in Stratford. Ideally, we’d like to make people more aware of our presence and how we can support those going through a tough time but in order to do that we need volunteers.
“Volunteers learn valuable life skills, make friends and come to realise everyone needs someone to talk to at some point.
“We are not government-funded and rely on the generosity of supporters to keep us going but more importantly, we rely on the goodwill of our volunteers and would love for more people to join our team.”
For details about the open evening email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.samaritans.org/branches/samaritans-stratford-upon-avon or call 01789 298866.