Our helpline volunteers take calls and webchats from women who are having a difficult time for whatever reason.
Our training comes with over 30 years’ experience of working with women’s mental health, and will fully equip you to work on our helpline. Consisting of eight 3 and a half hour training sessions, our training covers a range of topics from women’s mental health to sexual violence and domestic abuse. This is currently delivered online in weekly sessions with access to materials for home reading in between sessions.
Once you have successfully completed the training, you will be offered a place on our helpline. Each volunteer works the same shift every week, with the same volunteers – so you will very rarely be on a shift by yourself! You can come into our offices to do your shift or if you have a confidential and quiet space at home you can work remotely.
Your role will be to offer empathic, non-judgemental listening support to the women who contact us on the phone or through our webchat, with calls/chats lasting up to 50 minutes. You will also take calls/chats that are more administrative, where you will talk about our counselling services and calls may also include you needing to signpost to other services. Your training will fully equip you for this as well.
Within your three hour shift you will have 30 minutes to check in with your supervisor, two hours taking calls/chats on the helpline, and then a further 30-45 minutes at the end of your shift to debrief with the other volunteers and your supervisor.
You will also be expected to attend group supervision with all the other volunteers, this runs from 6-7.30pm on the first Monday of every month.
There will always be a supervisor available during your shifts to support you and we often run extra training to support the work you do on the helpline.
You will be enthusiastic and interested in helping another woman improve her mental health and wellbeing, be honest and friendly with good communication skills, non-judgmental, reliable, patient and a good listener.
The helpline role can be challenging and emotionally demanding at times, therefore we need women who have adequate life experience and feel emotionally robust and resilient enough to take on the role. We welcome volunteers with personal experience of mental health and other relevant issues but will require you to have at least a one-year period of stability before starting the training.
As the majority of our helpline opening hours are during the daytime, we particularly welcome applications from women able to volunteer for morning/afternoon shifts. Availability is limited for women who can only volunteer during the evenings.
What Past Helpline Volunteers Say:
“Womankind is doing amazing and essential work for women and I am incredibly proud to have the opportunity to be involved.”
“Having completed the helpline training, I have never been in a learning environment in which I felt so supported, and received so non-judgementally. It felt like a huge privilege to get to hear such expertise and insights.”