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Meet the Shout Volunteers

Our trained Shout Volunteers are there for moments when you’re struggling to cope and need support.

They are an empathetic bunch of people, who are trained to actively listen and work with you to make a plan of action to take your next steps towards feeling better.

Meet some of our amazing volunteers here (you might find they have something in common - they all love helping other people, like you!):

Layla

Why did you become a Shout Volunteer?

I became a volunteer because I wanted to make a difference.

In my experience as a volunteer, being able to text is so important because sometimes people aren’t ready to verbalise how they are feeling to anyone, and texting in to someone impartial who is essentially a stranger can be an amazing place to start,

What would you say to someone who wants to text Shout?

As your Shout Volunteer I am here to listen to you, without judgement and give you the space to be heard.

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Amber

Why did you sign up to become a Shout Volunteer?

I’d been looking for a way to volunteer and give back, but I was keen to find something that fitted in around my lifestyle

What would you say to someone who wants to text Shout?

When you text Shout you can expect to be able to express yourself freely without feeling like a burden, because to us, you are never a burden.

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Nathan

Why did you become a Shout Volunteer?

I volunteered for Shout 85258 because with mental health being such a huge part of my life, and everyone else’s life, it was my way of getting out there, helping other people, showing a bit of kindness, letting people know that there are people out there that do care for them.

Why is text so important for someone in need of support?

Being able to text gives the person texting in that bit of discretion and privacy. So if they’re at home or around others and they can’t speak out in the open, it gives them that discretion to get support without anyone else knowing.

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Sophia

How did you feel after your first shift?

After my first shift I felt elated. There was a lot of adrenaline. I woundn’t necessary say that I felt I had done a fantastic job as my supervisor was constantly helping me but I knew I wanted to continue doing it because I was so empowered by just helping one person.

What would you say to someone who wants to text Shout?

The reason I volunteer at Shout is because I love helping people so whoever you are, no matter what position in life you’re in, I am going to be there on the other side, or any of the other volunteers will be there, and we all want to listen, and just be there for you and be able to provide support in any way possible. We volunteer because we want you to know that there is someone there to listen so please text in if you are ever feeling uneasy, anxious or anything else is going on and you need instant support.

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Emz

Why is it important people can text to get support?

In my experience as a volunteer, it’s hugely important to support people via texting. I myself personally prefer to text so I found it very appealing and could understand the reasoning behind why someone might be too nervous to talk on the phone. Texting offers anonymity and can help in some circumstances feel more confident.

How did you feel after your first shift?

I would lie if I say I didn’t feel nervous, but it wasn’t overwhelming. It mainly made me feel extremely happy and accomplished because I’d studied and put in a lot of effort to ensure I got to that point. So to be able to hit that milestone and bring someone from a hot moment to a calm one was absolutely brilliant!

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Roger

Why is it important that people can text to get support?

As a deaf person who relies on text and sign language, the provision of a text support service is invaluable; it allows deaf people some access for support, and further, all texters the ability to ask for support without having to verbally talk about it.

I find the whole service incredibly valuable and am proud to be a Shout Volunteer and telling people about the service.  I also find it amazingly different; almost every message that comes through comes from someone in genuine need of help. 

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Betty

What would you say to someone who wants to text Shout?

If I was to give a message to someone who wanted to text Shout I would tell them to not be afraid, to reach out to us, we can be there in the moment with you, you are not alone going through this and we don’t judge in any way.

How did you feel after your first shift?

After my first shift I felt worried but also relieved because it went smoother than I expected and I was excited to take more conversations.

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Jess

Why did you sign up to become a Shout Volunteer?

Sometimes when you are going through a challenging time, having someone to talk to can make a big difference. I signed up to become a volunteer because I wanted to be that person that people can talk to when they are going through a crisis in their life.

Why is it important that people can text to get support?

Because of the stigma associated with mental illness a lot of people are afraid to openly express what they are going through, so being able to text for support gives people a safe space where they can be open and anonymously share what they are going through, which can really benefit your mental health.

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Ann

Why is it important that people can text to get support?

Texting really allows someone to express themselves in a safe non-judgemental way, and it gives them the opportunity to say something that they may never have said to anyone before and I think that’s quite empowering for the texter.

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Harriet

Why did you sign up to become a Shout Volunteer?

Seeing people close to me suffer from mental health made me want to volunteer for Shout in the first place. I wanted to be able to help others who were in a crisis or whether they were just in need for someone to talk to anonymously.

Why is it important that people can text to get support?

I think it’s really important that Shout is a texting service because I think that it can be really hard to put into words how you’re actually feeling or actually expressing it out loud so I think having the opportunity to text rather than saying something to a person removes that pressure and allows you to say how you’re really feeling.

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Mel

Why is it important people can text to get support?

The importance of being able to text in is the anonymity it provides. You don’t have to speak, nobody can hear your voice, they don’t know your age, your gender, your ethnicity - they know nothing when you text in, and it’s up to you to explore what the problem is, not judge them for who they are.

What is it like being a Shout Volunteer?

I think being a volunteer is like seeing someone in trouble and sitting next to them and holding their hand, and just being with them and listening, and not judging, and guiding them to a place where they can feel calmer and more supported. And that has real value to the people who text in. We’re not there to counsel them, and we’re certainly not there to judge them or tell them what to do, we want to be able to support them so that they feel they can make the next step to make themselves feel better.

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Sarah

Why is it important that people can text to get support?

With the increase in issues such as anxiety disorders, many people struggle to speak with someone over the phone but texting it can be a good way to help you get out your emotions. It’s important that young people feel able to use the means of technology that they are comfortable with to access that kind of support.

What would you say to someone who wants to text Shout?

What you can expect from talking to a Shout Volunteer is always having a non-judgemental and supportive person to help you get through something that is really tough on you. We’re going to support you as best as we can and tailor it to what you feel is going to help you best.

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Interested in becoming a Shout Volunteer?

Sign up to volunteer