Wendy Livesey, who has volunteered as a listener for three years, decided to get involved when she retired from work and was looking for new ways to fill her time.
She said: “I read about the Samaritans in the paper and was coming up to retirement so thought this was something I would like to do.
“They told me they were known as the suicide squad, but I found that the majority of calls come from people who are lonely. We can get all ages calling us up.
“I once spoke to an elderly lady who was pushing newspapers up against the cracks around the windows in her house to stop the draught. People will call about relationship problems or problems in their families.
“Sometimes you will get people who call several times about the same problem, sometimes people will call with a new problem, but we treat every call like a new one.
“We can’t offer advice, but we can signpost and tell callers where they might be able to get help. You can encourage people to talk and find their own solutions.
“You never know when you pick up the phone what you’re going to get but we have very good support and training which is on a par with prison training and we are trained to deal with suicide. It is quite serious sometimes but the training prepares you for it.
“People from all walks of life are Samaritans, it doesn’t matter what you do, just what you can give.
“You get so much more out of it than you put in, it’s so rewarding.
“I’ve made a wonderful lot of friends and we are just like a big family really.