Volunteers’ Week, which runs from June 1-7, is an annual celebration to recognise the contribution that unpaid staff make to thousands of charities across the UK and Ireland.
Samaritans is one such organisation, with 22,000 volunteers contributing more than 1million hours a year to answer calls for help around the clock.
A spokesperson for the High Peak branch said: “We are very proud of the magnificent contribution of our 40-plus active volunteers who, in the past 12 months, spent nearly 7,000 hours helping callers. This is an opportunity to say a huge thank you to all of them.”
Being a Samaritan requires commitment, but it can also change your own life for the better, as local volunteer Debra can attest.
For years she had considered joining but ‘life’ always got in the way. After her husband, John, took his own life Debra, took the plunge.
She said: “I had a choice: I could either stay at home, alone and miserable, or I could get out there and try to be useful. I was initially nervous about joining the Samaritans, but I soon realised I had joined a wonderful group of people who not only support callers, but also support their fellow volunteers.
“I love being a Samaritan. That feeling of knowing that I have been useful, and helped someone in real need, is so rewarding.”
Another member of the High Peak branch, Sam, only joined recently but has also come to feel the benefits of giving his time to help others.
He said: “It's a very difficult time at the moment, it seems like year-on-year people’s lives are being made harder. As a Samaritan I feel I can help in a small way. It is a great feeling to know that you have been there to listen and provide emotional support at a person’s moment of great need.”
If you would like to volunteer with the Buxton & High Peak branch of Samaritans, contact [email protected]
If you are not in a position to commit to the role, but would still like to support the work of local Samaritans, donations are welcomed via www.samaritan.org/branches/buxton.