YEOVIL NEWS: Working night shift is rewarding for volunteers at Samaritans
A COMMITMENT to becoming a volunteer with the Samaritans is also a commitment to doing regular night shifts.
And while not everyone likes to be a night owl, many Samaritans positively embrace the concept.
Volunteer Sarah told the Yeovil Press that the night shift absolutely suited her body clock.
“Between midnight and 3am is when I’m at my most alert and I genuinely think it’s the time when I can provide callers with the best of me,” she said.
“And you do need to be on your toes, as many of the most challenging calls come in at these hours. My body has never wanted to conform to normal working hours, which is partly why I opted for a volunteering role that does involve night time work.”
Fellow volunteer Jen, from the Yeovil, Sherborne and District branch of Samaritans, added: “Many years ago when I was undergoing treatment for cancer, I had the most amazing support from family and friends by day.
“But of course, they weren’t quite so available at night when I would often lie awake feeling alone, frightened and overwhelmed by the thoughts and worries going around in my head.
“Yes, I could have phoned a friend or woken someone, but I never did. Neither did I think to call Samaritans.
“When I recovered and became a Samaritans listening volunteer, I was truly able to appreciate the value of being there during the night for callers. Having experienced some very lonely and long nights myself, I’m so happy to now be in a position to fulfil that need.”
Volunteer Chris said: “Anyone who has ever lain awake worrying while everyone else is sleeping will know how much worse things can seem. It is a really good feeling to be in a position to offer someone a non-judgmental ear at any time of the day or night.”
Norman said that one of the great things about being a volunteer on the night shift for Samaritans is how much callers appreciate you. “Many are genuinely surprised to be able to get through and will express their thanks, however desperate they are feeling, which is really touching,” he said.
“From a practical point of view, when you take into account the travelling to and from the centre, the night time shift is actually quicker than daytime as there is never any traffic!
“I’m one of those lucky people who falls asleep whenever and wherever my head touches the pillow. So I quite often get my head down in one of the bedrooms at the centre which are made available to volunteers for this purpose.”
And wildlife enthusiast Simon, another volunteer, said: “Driving to and from the centre for the night shift is the best time to spot some of our indigenous wildlife. I’ll often be surprised by a badger, a fox or a deer on my way in and out. It never ceases to amaze me that we are surrounded by such incredible animals, most of the time without even knowing they are living in our midst!”
Could you volunteer with Samaritans? The Yeovil Branch holds monthly Information evenings which take place on the first Wednesday of every month at 7pm at 25 The Park, Yeovil, BA20 1DG.
There is no need to pre-book, just turn up and you will be warmly welcomed with a cup of tea and answers to any questions you may have.
Alternatively, you can call the information line on 01935-414015, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at www.samaritans.org/branches/samaritans-yeovil-sherborne-and-district.