Samaritans bid to help business communications

The Samaritans, the charity that provides telephone support for people
feeling desperate or suicidal, is branching out into the business world with
training courses targeted at improving workplace communication skills.

The customised courses aim to bring The Samaritans’ listening and
communications skills to client-facing organisations – such as call centres –
where the emotions of callers can run high.

Samaritans’ training manager Gaynor Howard said: "In the 50 years of
its existence, The Samaritans has developed unique skills in active listening
and communications – often in highly-charged emotional situations.

"Many of these skills are directly transferable to the business world,
especially in organisations that deal with emotionally-charged situations, such
as dealing with customers or the public on the telephone, face-to-face or by
e-mail," she said.

Howard said The Samaritans had previously offered training to not-for-profit
organisations, but this was the first time it had marketed courses to the
business community.

The charity has won a contract to train 2,000 Inland Revenue staff across
the UK who deal with family tax credit enquiries.

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