It is National Volunteers’ Week and we could not let this week pass by without recognising the passion and dedication that each PAPYRUS volunteer shows in their contribution to creating suicide safer communities.
We want to say a huge thank you to everyone volunteering their time to support PAPYRUS – you are helping us to break down the stigma surrounding suicide and contributing towards saving young lives. Each volunteer brings their own experience and skills helping to shape the work that PAPYRUS does to enable life and they get involved for a variety of reasons. To celebrate our volunteers, we are sharing some of their stories below:
Some volunteers have experienced suicidal thoughts themselves. They volunteer at PAPYRUS because they do not want any young person to feel alone with their suicidal thoughts:
“I am honoured to be able to help PAPYRUS in their efforts to save young lives. Sadly, I have first-hand experience of how isolating and terrifying it is to have thoughts of suicide. I hope that by sharing my story and supporting the work of PAPYRUS, I can help other young people to find hope and help”.
Some volunteers get involved because they are sadly bereaved and want to prevent people dying by suicide:
“I’m at the point now that I want to help prevent others from dying by suicide. I’m keen to help where I can, to prevent suicide, by speaking to people wherever I can. Increasing awareness of HOPELINE247 is key to helping people understand that their situation is not hopeless”.
The peer support received from other volunteers is the part some really value:
“I am really enjoying getting involved in the volunteer newsletter and working together with other volunteers to put together something creative and informative. Talking about self-care and conducting research with others that are passionate about smashing the stigma as I am is such fun”
One of our volunteers shared how useful they found the training, and how they are now delivering suicide prevention awareness sessions themselves:
“In my volunteer role, I will deliver awareness raising sessions to different groups ranging from schools’ teachers to members of the fire service. The training that I have received from PAPYRUS has been so useful in so many ways. Without doubt I have learned more about myself, and I am much less afraid to address the persistent stigmas that still exist around suicide in our society”.
Some people also mixed their passion for preventing suicide with the workplace, volunteering to go above and beyond in their professional roles:
“Currently, I work in a university and I am in contact with young people on a regular basis. For me, it’s about telling people that there is always hope for tomorrow; sometimes we just need a little help along the way”
Many people also give up their time to fundraise for PAPYRUS.
Just £5 can help to pay for a call to our helpline, HOPELINE247. People who fundraise for our service are also contributing towards saving young lives and we could not do the work we do without them. We have a range of resources available on our website for anybody that wants to fundraise for PAPYRUS: https://www.papyrus-uk.org/fundraising-resources/
(If you would like to read more about the volunteer stories shared above, you can find this in our most recent annual review)
Thank you to each and every person who has volunteered with PAPYRUS both past and present – we really appreciate your help and you are all incredible. We cannot do what we do without you. The work that you do as volunteers is invaluable and you may never know the full extent of your reach. Almost like dandelions blowing in the wind -the seeds spread and the reach of growth can be far and wide. This is like the work you do – when you contribute towards creating suicide safer communities, you plant the seeds for hope to grow.
We are so proud of you, and thank you.
If you want to get involved, you can find out about our volunteering opportunities by clicking here – we look forward to hearing from you!
HOPELINE247 is a free confidential call, text and email services are a lifeline for young people experiencing thoughts of suicide, and helps concerned others who are worried about somebody close to them. We are also here for any professional who has had an encounter with suicide, and would like to talk it through with one of our suicide prevention advisers.
Call: 0800 068 4141
Text: 07860 039967
We are open from 9am to midnight, every day of the year