Samaritans has a strategy programme called “There for Everyone”, which aims to reverse the years-long decline in the number of trained listening volunteers and allow the charity to answer every call for help, first time.
Only one in ten people who apply to become a volunteer actually end up completing training. Even a small improvement, like two in ten, would be enough to reverse the trend and make the charity’s work sustainable.
We helped Samaritans overhaul their recruitment and training journey, which had some online components but also involved getting in touch with a particular local branch in person, by email or phone.
We made a digital-first journey that met modern UX expectations: consolidating weeks of manual back-and-forth into a single journey where prospective recruits were introduced to what it’s like being a Samaritans volunteer, reflected on whether it’s right for them, gave their personal details and booked a slot for an initial interview.
The new service also aimed to appeal to a broader profile of people than retirees and students, who currently represent the bulk of Samaritans volunteers.
The new recruitment experience was massively successful: it single-handedly led to an explosion in interest from new volunteers, as well as 30% better retention through the process: more than enough for the impact Samaritans wanted.