More than 6,000 people take their own lives in the UK and the Republic of Ireland every year. The mission of our organisation is to reduce this number. We try to achieve it with the help of over 21,000 volunteers across the UK and Ireland.

Not everyone finds it easy to start a conversation that may be uncomfortable. And not everyone shows signs that they are struggling with difficult thoughts or feelings. But simple human contact -knowing that you’re not alone with your troubles and that someone will listen – can make a big difference, even at really difficult times. We are encouraging anyone worried about a friend, colleague or family member who may be struggling to cope to ask a question ‘Are you OK?’

Samaritans CEO Ruth Sutherland says while you can’t take on another person’s troubles, you can let them know you care. “If you simply ask, ‘Are you OK?’ and show you are there to listen, people are far less likely to feel they have to go it alone with their troubles.  Often it’s not about looking for someone to fix a problem – sometimes the biggest help can be having someone to share it with.”

Gandhi once said “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. (…) We need not wait to see what others do.” Individuals can start a process of a global change which then can be carried on by others. Volunteering for organisations like Samaritans is one of the ways of helping those who struggle. If you would like to be someone who can help decrease the rate of suicide, you should consider volunteering for us.

We know that not everyone is the same and we can say the same about our volunteers. We look for people from different walks of life and diverse experiences.

As well as answering calls, emails, texts and talking to people face to face, Samaritans in Cheltenham promote emotional health and wellbeing through their outreach work.

Throughout the year our volunteers visit Gloucestershire schools and work regularly with the local prison. Whatever your interests there is a role for you our branch.

Samaritans offers round-the-clock support for anyone who’s struggling, whoever they are, however they are feeling, and whatever life has done to them. People can contact us in confidence by phone, email, text or face to face in one of its 201 branches.  Anyone who wants to talk in confidence to Samaritans can call 116 123 (free from most landlines and mobiles) or email

If you feel that you would like to join our organisation as a listener or as a support volunteer visit to find out more.

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