46 Leeds food bank volunteers took an eight-week course aimed at reducing suicide risk in vulnerable men.
The key findings:
- Food bank volunteers are a great resource for reaching vulnerable men, especially those who find it difficult to access mainstream services; volunteers are dealing with people in crisis daily.
- Volunteers form great and often unique relationships of trust with users but don't always know how and where to refer people to sources of help.
- Listening, suicide risk awareness and signposting skills, can be incredibly effective in helping volunteers keep vulnerable men safe.
"Robert came into the food bank one day, suicidal with plans. He didn't want to engage with mainstream services, but said he could talk to us because we knew his name and we really listened.
"The active listening training definitely played a part in that. Trying not to save the world but just listening and not trying to make it different. But then just by listening you do make it different! Since that day, Robert has absolutely turned his life around and is getting proper support.
"There are so many people I could tell you about that we’ve helped. The course has made such a difference.”
Michelle, Rainbow Junktion volunteer