share the load...

Be there for people who need someone.

At the DPJ Foundation, we rely on the farming community to help us: whether that is raising awareness and challenging the stigma, or being at the end of the phone to support those who need help.  You can help our community by becoming a “Share the Load” volunteer.

As a Share the Load volunteer you’ll answer calls and messages from people who really need someone to talk to. They might be feeling at their lowest ebb or they may be lonely and have no-one else to turn to.  We are looking for people who are able to listen, without judging, and who are able to offer support when someone most needs it.

Our ideal volunteer will be...

  • Open-minded: willing and able to understand someone else’s point of view even if it is very different to yours.
  • Discreet: The farming world is small, you will keep any information that you are told confidential and will not share details about any of the callers.
  • Empathetic: able to share another person’s feelings; to see things through their eyes.
  • Accepting: able to take each caller on their own terms and not discriminate against anyone for any reason
  • Supportive: supportive and friendly as you will be an ambassador for the DPJ Foundation.
  • Resilient: some calls may be emotional and may trigger your own past history. Volunteers need to be strong enough to handle these emotions.

To volunteer in this role, you must be:

  • aged 18 or over
  • Able to commit to volunteering with us for at least a year: you need to see this not just as a short term role but something you’re likely to do more longer term (as the training involves a significant cost to us).
  • Personally resilient and able to cope with speaking to people who are vulnerable (but we will give you the training to know how to handle these conversations).
  • Understanding of farming life and appreciate some of the challenges this brings.
  • Available during the daytime on at least one day of the week.
  • Able to commit to a shift at least every other week.

In order to safeguard our volunteers and callers this role requires a DBS check. If you have a criminal record it won’t necessarily stop you from becoming a volunteer as we will consider each case individually.  However, if you have any concerns then please contact us in advance.

Training and ongoing support

Each month volunteers take part in a monthly rota. They usually volunteer for one 8 hour shift a week and during that shift the volunteer can carry on with their normal life, provided they are able to stop to take a call if one is received (and that they have privacy to do so).  Not all shifts receive a call each week.

You will receive training delivered by the Samaritans which will prepare you to have conversations with vulnerable callers.  You will also receive our in-house Mental Health Awareness and suicide prevention training.  You will also receive a buddy who will be an experienced volunteer who will be available if you need them during your first shifts and after you have been volunteering for a while. You will also receive support from the wider community of volunteers as well as from the Charity Manager and will receive ongoing training and support.

You will need to be available to attend all of the Samaritans Training that will be delivered online by Zoom and all of the DPJ Foundation internal training.

Be Part of the Answer

"Ask for help, not because you are weak, but because you want to stay strong"