Joining the dots with Guildford Samaritans

Dr Llewelyn is very interested in the work Guildford Samaritans does in prisons. During her meeting, she linked two of its representatives to local charities and Surrey Police who are interested in restarting some pre-pandemic work.

Nick Martin, director of Guildford Samaritans, and Renato Lowres, responsible for the charity’s work at HMP Send, told Dr Llewelyn about the national Listening Service, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.

Guildford Samaritans runs the service at HMP Send and trained selected inmates to become listeners. Prisoners can talk to them about their problems, which prevents issues from escalating.

Listeners have a separate uniform, and fellow inmates can interact with them during ‘association’ time. Alternatively, inmates can phone the main Samaritans helpline, which will arrange a meeting with a listener.

The Listening Service was invaluable in HMP Send during the lockdown and saw heavy use.

Dr Llewelyn said: “I was pleased to meet one of the listeners on my recent visit to HMP Send, and she invited me to go and meet the listener team.”