INTERESTED in Volunteering with us?

By David G V Smith, Director, Eastbourne and District Samaritans

We are based at Bolton Road in the centre of Eastbourne, and we are a family of 90 listening volunteers and 15 support volunteers.

We provide a full training programme with an emphasis on listening skills, and we take great care in looking after each other by providing a supportive environment for our volunteers.

We also have fun dressing up for Eastbourne Carnival, participating in social activities. You can train as a listening volunteer or become a support volunteer and help with events and activities or provide practical help with skills to keep our branch running or supporting our wonderful, award winning shop on Grove Road.

What do we do? We listen with empathy and without judgement. We are not experts and we don’t provide advice and we are not therapists.

We are non-professionals who provide a professional service which is much needed.

We are here to answer the free phone 116 123 helpline, respond to emails and webchat. We are also open for face-toface callers from 10:30am in the morning to 10:30pm in the evening seven days per week.

We answer over 20,000 calls per year and nearly 90% of these calls involves a conversation around emotional support. Roughly 1/4 of our callers have had suicidal thoughts or are suicidal and 10% have been or are self-harming. We are here for the community in the Eastbourne area and support a number of outreach activities to schools and prisons.

Our service is simple and follows five key principles:

• Listening – exploring feelings to alleviate distress.

• Confidentiality – if people feel safe, they are more likely to be open about their feelings.

• Non-judgemental – whatever your views or your situation, we listen without fear or prejudice.

• Self-determination – people have the right to find their own solution. We help our callers work things out. We don’t offer advice.

• Human contact – We give our time and undivided attention with empathy in order to help reduce distress and despair.

Visit our award-winning shop on Grove Road. You’d be amazed at what you might find there – Prada shoes, fine porcelain, bric-a-brac, designer clothes, rare vinyl records.

The shop provides around half or our income and is essential to keep us going. 31 Grove Road, Eastbourne BN21 4TT

The Revd. Chad Varrah started the Samaritans in November 1953. Throughout his career Chad offered counselling to his parishioners and wanted to do something more specific to help people contemplating suicide. 1953, Chad was offered charge of the parish of St Stephen in the City of London, where he was able to launch what he called a ‘999 for the suicidal’. Eastbourne Samaritans began in February 1965 in rented rooms in Christ Church, Seaside. We have been in Bolton Road since 1992.

We have spacious listening facilities in the basement and have volunteers on the phones or answering emails or webchat seven days a week 365 days a year between 18 and 24 hours per day.

We receive face-to-face callers from 10:30am in the morning to 10:30pm at night. Find out more about us! Come to an information evening and hear about what we do. Monday 19th of June 7:00pm

Monday 4th of September 7:00pm

Monday 2nd of October 7:00pm

Email: BranchRecruitment@ The Haven, 13 Bolton Road Eastbourne, East Sussex BN21 3JT