Our People: Evangelia Barliakou
Time is flying fast and it’s about time we bring on our next new blog focusing on `Our People` and their amazing stories.
This month our star is Evangelia Barliakou who is not only our Sales Office Manager at Milton Hill House, part of The Venues Collection, but is also a volunteer for the Samaritans. Setting up goals and challenges for herself is in her nature and she has also become their branch secretary and trustee. We are excited to present you her story and the challenges she faced as a Samaritan.
“Do you know that Samaritans receive 5 million calls a year? No matter your problem we, Samaritans, are there for you. Our vision is fewer people die by suicide and our mission is to make sure there’s always someone for anyone out there who needs someone to talk to. It not only provides an opportunity for people to find a way to cope but also as a volunteer it teaches you about empathy and the importance of just being there for people.
You know, initially, I only applied for an administration role within my local Samaritans branch. However, attending the information evening and reflecting to the genuine devotion and true belief on the mission of the volunteers, it was an eye-opening experience for me and there was no second thought I wanted to become part.
My journey started as a listening volunteer, which consisted of shifts around the clock where I was offering my support via phone, text and email. Later on, in addition, to my duties as a listening volunteer I was made the branch secretary and a trustee, where I attend all the leadership meetings and support our Branch Director.
It’s not always easy and especially after a long and stressful day at work it can get really hard. But, when you are on a call, I have learned how to forget my own issues and worries and to make it all about the person seeking help. The feeling of connection you make with them, the possibility of helping them even just a bit by getting them through another day and the warm thank you is enough to keep my passion growing bigger shift by shift. Nevertheless, the gratification at the end of a call or a shift is something reviving. It has given more meaning to my life, I have improved the way I listen and treat people and has made me appreciate everyday things in life.”