A qualitative study exploring the experience and motivations of UK Samaritan volunteers: “Why do we do it?”

Article


Smith, Lucy, Callaghan, Jane E. M. and Fellin, L. 2018. A qualitative study exploring the experience and motivations of UK Samaritan volunteers: “Why do we do it?”. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling.
AuthorsSmith, Lucy, Callaghan, Jane E. M. and Fellin, L.
Abstract

Telephone helplines offer a valued service for those in distress. However, little research has explored the experience of helpline volunteers. Through semi-structured interviews, in this article we explore the volunteering experiences of nine long-term UK Samaritan volunteers. Interviews were analysed using Interpretive Interactionism. The analysis highlighted that this volunteering impacted participants’ experience of their sense of self. The decision to volunteer was framed as part of a search for personal meaning, tied to experiences of loss and reparation. They reflected positively on their volunteer identity, but highlighted tensions between a sense of vocation and the experience of care burden. The Samaritan Community also offered a sense of belonging and social support. They experienced involvement as personally meaningful, enabling the construction of a positive self-identity.

JournalBritish Journal of Guidance and Counselling
ISSN0306-9885
Year2018
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Accepted author manuscript
License
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1080/03069885.2018.1546378
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1080/03069885.2018.1546378
Publication dates
Online14 Nov 2018
Publication process dates
Deposited14 Nov 2018
Accepted07 Nov 2018
Accepted07 Nov 2018
Copyright information© 2018 Taylor and Francis. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in British Journal of Guidance and Counselling on 14/11/2018 available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/03069885.2018.1546378.
Page rangeIn Press
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