Volunteering for Women’s Aid

How can I volunteer for Women’s Aid?
Women’s Aid National Office advertises any voluntary vacancies on our jobs page.

We are currently not recruiting in national office.

Volunteering in my local area

Contact a Women’s Aid domestic violence service or refuge in the area where you live to see if they have any volunteering opportunities available.

Find your local service

Volunteering for the Domestic Violence Helpline

How can I volunteer to work on the Helpline?
The domestic violence 24 hour freephone Helpline (run in partnership between Women’s Aid & Refuge) provides support, information and a listening ear to women experiencing domestic violence and to those seeking help on her behalf.

We advertise for Helpline volunteers through the press and voluntary sector networks, and also on the Job opportunities page.

We are not currently recruiting for volunteers. 

What training would I receive?

Volunteer training sessions prior to taking calls include:

  • Domestic and Sexual Violence Awareness: Introduction to domestic and sexual violence philosophy and the dynamics of domestic and sexual violence.
  • Risk Assessment and Safety Planning: Introduction and knowledge of the information required to assess risk over the phone and a working knowledge of safety planning options.
  • Child Protection: Introduction to the essential knowledge for identifying child protection issues over the phone in relation to domestic and sexual violence.  Particular emphasis on this in relation to taking calls from survivors.
  • Domestic Violence and Perpetrators: Introduction to perpetrators of domestic and sexual violence.
  • Domestic and Sexual Violence and Health: Introduction to the effects on physical and mental health of victims of domestic and sexual violence.
  • Domestic and Sexual Violence and Housing: Introduction and working knowledge of the Housing rights of victims of domestic and sexual violence.
  • Domestic and Sexual Violence and the Law: Introduction to the major legal remedies relating to domestic and sexual violence.
  • Domestic and Sexual Violence – Women with no-recourse to public funds: Introduction to the rights of women with no- recourse to public funds.
  • Diversity and Domestic and Sexual Violence: Introduction to Equality and Diversity.
  • Helpline Policies and Procedures: Introduction to and working knowledge of helpline policies and call handling procedures.
  • Call Handling Skills:  Introduction to call handling skills needed to deal with the variety of calls received by the Helpline.
  • Database Training: Introduction and working knowledge of the variety of helpline databases and electronic information and resources.

What commitment is required as a volunteer?
Due to the extensive nature of our training programme, we ask for a commitment on one year. The Helpline Team Leader will provide regular confidential supervision session to volunteers, to offer support, monitor progress and assess service delivery.

What shifts would I work?
Volunteers are required to undertake a minimum of one 4 hour shift per week on the Helpline.

Would expenses be paid for?
Childcare, travel and other out-of-pocket expenses will be reimbursed to all volunteers through-out their time at Women’s Aid.

Where does the training take place?
All training for the Women’s Aid National Helpline takes place in Bristol. All training for the Refuge National Helpline takes place in London, and you need to contact them to enquire when they will next be recruiting.

Here’s what some of our Helpline volunteers have said…

“I have learnt so much about myself through taking calls on the helpline.  I have become more compassionate towards others and definitely less judgemental of other peoples lives”

“The training I received before I took calls on the line has been invaluable in helping me to get the job I was looking for.  Even though I now work full time I would never give up my shift on the Helpline”

“Domestic Violence is still so hidden.  The Helpline is a lifeline to the women who call.” 

© 2015 Women's Aid Federation of England – Women’s Aid is a company limited by guarantee registered in England No: 3171880.

Women’s Aid is a registered charity in England No. 1054154

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