What drives you to be a Samaritan? Is it the need to help others, or are you responding to a damaged part of yourself? The Listeners follows the stories of those in need, and those that answer their calls. Billie, drinking away her loneliness, dials the Samaritan number expecting little from a bunch of 'do-gooders'. Tim, lost and desperate, calls in a frantic plea for help. Jackie, a young-man with learning difficulties, phones just to hear a friendly voice. For all of the callers, the most vital thing is to hear that they are cared for, and that they are not alone. The importance of this resonates with each of them in different ways. But can you really save someone from themselves? This is something that Victoria, Paul, and Sarah – all Samaritans with very different reasons for wanting to help – will have to find out the hard way.
In The Listeners, first published in 1970, Monica Dickens draws from her own experience as a Samaritan, creating a heart-warming look at the realities of hardship, and salvation.