Helpline volunteers needed - Yes to Life

Some suggestions, and please add more...

Helpline volunteers needed - Yes to Life

Postby Susydoo » Thu Jan 26, 2017 4:56 pm

The Helpline at Yes to Life is one of our core services. It is getting busier each day which is fantastic but we need to find more volunteers to train to help us manage this.

Here’s some info on what being a helpline volunteer means.

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It is a home based role. Each volunteer is given a day which suits them to do the calls. The helpline is a message system and all calls are converted into emails which are received by all volunteers. We set you up with a YTL email address and add you to the group email. When it is your day, you listen to the messages and then return the calls. Most people who call leave a number and a name - some leave a bit more info about themselves or the person they might be calling on behalf of.

The training is done in groups so you will be with a group of between 6-10 people so it’s a nice way to meet people.

It's broken down into 4 bits - the first is with Robin and me talking about the charity, its ethos and generally about the role. This is normally done in the YTL office and takes around 2 hours max. It's also the first time you get to meet others in your group.

The second session is with Patricia Peat who will talk about her work, how we work together, latest info on Integrative Medicine etc. It's half a day and will either be in Stevenage or London (why Stevenage? Well we get a great training room for free and Stevenage is pretty easy to get to by train).

Third day of training is a whole day and is carried out by two professional trainers who we have worked with for a number of years. They both ran a counselling cancer helpline before and are both trained counsellors. The day consists of role play, talking about the role, trigger points, how to deal with certain circumstances etc. How to set yourself up at home to manage the call etc. There are opportunities during the day to talk about any fears you may have and to cover any things you might be unsure about.

The final day is IT training on the database which you will need to enter information onto and the email system as well as processes etc. This is covered by me and again in normally in the office in Hoxton - takes around 2 hours.

We all get together as a group 2-3 times a year to do something fun and for me to update everyone on what's going on with the charity etc. You will get to meet the office team - Jacqui who does all the finance stuff; Jane who works on events and is my support person; John who is a one day a week volunteer and Lori who is also an office one day a week volunteer. Claire Winterbourne and Suzanne Johnson are also key people you will meet and be in regular contact with. Claire runs the Helpline - does the rota so she will be in touch with you once you have finished training to organise putting you with a mentor to start with and then is your touch point for any problems etc with doing calls etc. Suzanne is a volunteer and checks that every calls that comes in or email that comes in has been answered so nothing slips through the net. She also collects data for us on the calls so we can see how things are going.

My aim is to try and start training in February. I normally spread the sessions over a period of 2 months, sometimes 3 to take account of people's working lives etc.

If you are interested in joining the team or want more information please email me:

Thanks so much for reading

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Sue De Cesare
Yes to Life
T: 0203 222 0587
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2017 12:21 pm
Location: London but UK coverage

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