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Volunteering for Samaritans could be your raison d’être

DO you have a kind heart and a genuine desire to help others? Could you be there for a person in great distress? Are you an ordinary person who wants to do extraordinary things…?

If you answered ‘yes’ to the above questions, then the Samaritans of Omagh would love to see you come on board as a volunteer: You could save a life.

And you are in luck, as next Saturday, the Omagh branch are hosting an open day so you can learn about all-things Samaritans – whether it’s what volunteering entails; how the local charity can help others or help you; or if you simply want to see what amazing things go on behind the scenes.

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Speaking to the Ulster Herald on Blue Monday (Monday past), local volunteer Fiona said that being a Samaritan for the past six years has been a ‘phenomenal’ experience.

“Being a volunteer has changed my world completely, and it is something I’d recommend to anyone who is interested in making a positive difference to another person’s life,” Fiona described.

“So many times I’ve heard someone take a deep breath and say to me, ‘I have never told anyone that before, but it has been on the back of my mind for a long time’.

“To be able to be there for a stranger, and help them release their pain… it is truly amazing.

“And we don’t just help people who are suicidal either – that is a common misconception. We are here for everyone: No worry is ever too big or too small to talk about.”

Volunteering
All Samaritan volunteers undergo an informal interview process, and then receive special training over a number of weeks so that they can appropriately handle calls and face-to-face visits of all natures.

“To be a volunteer, you need a kind heart and you must genuinely care about others,” Fiona detailed.

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“And the training process is absolutely fantastic.

“You learn to really listen to a person, instead of going into ‘fixing mode’ and giving advice, and it’s also amazing what you pick up about yourself too.

“We have an incredible team at the Omagh branch, but we’d love to recruit more volunteers who will help us save lives from our little corner of Omagh.”

• The Samaritans of Omagh’s Open Day will take place next Saturday, February 1 from 11am to 4pm at Campsie Crescent, Omagh. There will also be a sale of unwanted Christmas gifts on the day, and all proceeds raised will go back into the charity. The kettle will be boiled, and everyone is welcome to attend.

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Ulster Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 10-14 John Street, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland, BT781DW