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GibSams is recruiting

This month is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month and as part of GibSams awareness campaign articles from the charity will be published weekly on Saturday’s throughout the month of September.

GibSams is a confidential and anonymous free helpline that offers a listening service to anyone experiencing distress, loneliness, despair or suicidal feelings. Callers can talk or chat to our volunteer listeners in confidence about anything that is troubling them without the fear of being judged.

GibSams offers an opportunity for people to express their feelings freely. Often being listened to can be a comfort to those who are going through a bad time in their lives and feel they have nowhere or no one to turn to.

Why do we need more volunteers?

Covid-19 has had a big impact in our lives creating fear, anxiety, insecurities and loneliness. Everyone has been affected by it in some way or other and although we look ahead to a future where normality will return, for some of us it will be easier than for others. With this in mind, we want to ensure we can continue to provide this much-needed service within our community.

We have also recently expanded the service and are now providing an ‘online chat’ in addition to our telephone service. The ‘online chat’ enables the individual to communicate with ease, in any environment, even when they are not completely on their own.

To maintain this service effectively will depend on our success in enrolling more volunteers to our team.

Can Anyone be a ‘GibSams’ Listener?

GibSams is open to individuals over the age of 18+ who genuinely want to help. There is no requirement for you to have gone through any particular life experience or be a particular kind of person to be a listener.

What do I have to do to become a listener?

All our volunteers have to undergo a selection and training process spread throughout a five-day period.

Why is Training required?

Training is essential to give you the skills to be able to listen or chat effectively without judgement or pressure.
At the end of the training period, you will have attained valuable new skills and at the same time, the confidence and the ability to use them, to understand people, and manage difficult conversations. The skills, you acquire, you will value, and may apply in your everyday life. At the same time, you will form new friendships and be part of an amazing and inspiring team. Most importantly, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping people, who are going through difficult circumstances, and feel they have no one to turn to. Ultimately, making a difference to someone’s life.

This is what some of our volunteers have to say:

“One of the best things I’ve done in my life. Training to be a listener was soul searching.”

“By joining GibSams I feel I am doing something positive for the community”

“Being a volunteer has created a new family for me in GibSams”.

What happens after the training?

After the initial training programme, a ‘buddy’, that acts as your mentor is assigned to you and accompanies you on your first shifts, until you are confident enough to listen in on your own. All shifts are carried out in pairs at our premises.

What exactly is the role of the volunteer listener?

The listener is there to actively listen to the caller and show empathy, and in the process make them feel that they are cared for and not alone. Reassure them at all times that the service is confidential and anonymous and that they can speak to you about anything without the fear of being judged.

What is expected of me as a GibSam?

To give up three hours of your time per week, in order to sign up for a shift of your choice.

In the same way that callers’ identity is anonymous, your details as a listener, will be kept anonymous and confidential too.

Does this sound like you?

• You are willing to give up of your free time to listen to people

• You are open-minded and non-judgemental

• You are able to listen without telling people what to do.

• You are over 18+

If it does, and you would like to submit an application or request more information, please send your email to: volunteer@gibsams.gi

As a ‘listener’, you can really make a difference in the direction that someone’s future takes.

Tough times don’t last, Tough teams do. Join us.

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