“Whatever happened they weren’t alone.”

Samaritan volunteers handle 5.7 million calls every year
Samaritan volunteers handle 5.7 million calls every year

The latest recipient of a British Steel Community Champion award gives up 16 hours every month to provide emotional support to some of the most vulnerable members of our communities.

The employee, who volunteers with the charity Samaritans, can’t be named due to the confidentiality of her volunteer position. However here she tells us about her experience with her local branch over the last 18 months.

“I was inspired to volunteer for the Samaritans after seeing their volunteer opportunities promoted here at British Steel and after supporting a friend through a number of suicide attempts.

“I felt compelled to help others who may not have anyone to support them during what is a terrifying, traumatic, isolating and incredibly difficult time.

“The service isn’t only for those who are suicidal, anyone can give us a call and chat to us about how they’re feeling. We deal with quite a variety of issues from drug and alcohol abuse, to a range of mental health issues and suicidal thoughts.

“The most memorable call I’ve taken happened shortly after I qualified as a Samaritan following my intensive training period.

“The caller had made the decision to take their own life and was in the process of doing this. My role was to listen to them and be there for them at their time of need. It’s difficult as we’re not able to act on the information or intervene in anyway, unless the caller gives us permission to do so.

“I don’t know what the outcome was for that caller but I came away knowing I was there for them and whatever happened, they weren’t alone.

“Being a Samaritan has made me a better listener and it’s taught me not to be judgmental as you never know what someone has been through in their past or what they’re currently going through.

“The Samaritans is an unbelievable service and organisation and I feel truly proud to be part of it.”

The Samaritans are contacted every six seconds and every year they respond to 5.7 million calls. The charity is operated by volunteers and survives solely on donations from the public.

Anyone who would like to find out more about the charity or make a donation can visit https://www.samaritans.org/

Or anyone who needs support from a Samaritan can call them free and confidentially on 116 123. Or alternatively they can email jo@samaritans.org

British Steel Community Champion awards give British Steel employees who volunteer in their local community an opportunity to apply for up to £200 for their community organisation. This is part of our wider Building Stronger Communities programme, which provides support to charities and non-profit organisations to help support the economic and social wellbeing of the areas in which the company operates.