Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust’s mental health helpline is open 365 days a year offering an out of hours advice service and a listening ear for people worried about their mental health or that of someone they care about. The helpline offers confidential support and information to people who feel distressed and want someone to talk to or even just listen to them.
Vicky Robinson has been a Helpline Operator for over 2 years and volunteers her time once every few weeks. She works full time as a Family Support Worker at Blackpool Carers' Centre, an independent local charity which works to support and enhance the lives of unpaid carers of all ages throughout Blackpool.
“I first decided to volunteer for the helpline because I have an interest in mental health and really wanted to help people who are worried about their mental health or that of their loved ones. I arrange a shift once every fortnight for the helpline, so finish work at 5 and get to the helpline before 7pm ready for the shift ahead.
“We receive feedback from callers which shows what an invaluable service the helpline provides. One lady in particular has said that we are like a part of her family and that she wouldn’t know what to do without the helpline for support.
“I would recommend volunteering at the helpline to anyone – it’s great to meet new people and do something that really makes a difference to the lives of others. The training provided by the service is really good and there’s so much you can learn.”
Volunteers undertake regular training updates and will receive a monthly newsletter to keep them up to date with Helpline policies and events. Local travel expenses are paid.
Application packs and further information is available online at
http://www.lancs-mentalhealthhelpline.nhs.uk/ or please call 01253 303699.