Volunteer training is the cornerstone of our service quality and service commitment. All our volunteers are trained and adhere strictly to The Samaritans’ values, and work principles and procedures.
It is not possible to complete our volunteer training without going through the selection process. Volunteer Selection and Preparation (the initial training programme) are vital because they ensure the best possible service for our callers.
Selected potential volunteers (PVs) then attend the Samaritans Preparation Course, which helps PVs to develop the necessary listening skills and gain the knowledge and confidence to support callers in crisis.
Through skills practice, role plays and group discussions, PVs not only learn how to work as SAMs, they gain knowledge about themselves.
What is critically important at this stage
PVs may begin to question their own assumptions. They will then learn to leave them own personal thoughts, feelings and values at the door of the Centre and will be ready to listen in a non-judgemental way.
What is available for all PVs and SAMs
The Samaritans Support Network. Support for volunteers begins on the first day of the Preparation Course. All PVs and SAMs help and support each other under the guidance of the Training Team. A 24-hour support system is in place for all volunteers performing listening duties to ensure that no one will ever be left to cope with a difficult situation without peer support.
Attendance at all sessions of the preparation course is necessary to complete the Samaritan’s training because of the high level of commitment and the high service standards we expect from our volunteers.
Our volunteer training takes place three times a year: in spring, fall and winter. If you have applied to volunteer with us, we will contact you when the training schedule is finalized.
External training is provided by our English and Cantonese Outreach Teams to schools, corporations, community organisations, government departments and ethnic minority groups. Through our external training programmes, we work hand in hand with community members to build awareness of promoting emotional wellness in our community. The participants will be able to develop a greater breadth of understanding of the value of expressing feelings and respecting the feeling of others.
If your organisation would like to invite a Samaritan to speak and to share our experience, please read Request a Speaker and contact us for more information.