18 December My DofE volunteering: Campaigning for the youth in Hackney
Over the last few months Samaritans have been training volunteers remotely and after many months of hard work behind the scenes by volunteers and staff, in a year like no other, the London City Hub volunteers completed their first shifts.
Shifts at London City Hub, located 5 minutes from London Bridge, will run on weekdays with listening volunteers focused solely on delivering the written word (online chat and email). Introducing the online chat channel is an integral part of our plan to be there for the next generation, so the successful completion of this first stage is a landmark moment for Samaritans.
We know that people can find it hard to fit volunteering in around their other competing commitments. Now more than ever, flexibility is important to people which is why the charity has set up London City Hub to make it easier for people to volunteer and support Samaritans. It’s an opportunity for busy working people to be able to offer their time and energy to supporting a cause that matters. Mental health has been a challenge for people over the last few months, and so it’s important that Samaritans are able to offer their vital work. London City Hub makes it possible for them to do so in a way that meets need and allows volunteers to commit time in a way that works for them.
Duncan is one of 70 London City Hub volunteers to complete his Core training during this unprecedented year: “I am very grateful to my employer, Schroders, for giving me the opportunity to participate. Together with a group of volunteers from other companies, I did several weeks of general Samaritans training (by Zoom, due to the lockdown) followed by specific skills practice for the online chat service. I am excited and honoured to be going to London City Hub for my first shift this evening, and looking forward to helping our callers.”
The City Hub was part funded by The Lord Mayor’s Appeal as part of our charity partnership. The work of Samaritans is closely allied to our healthy pillar.