How can I volunteer for my local Women’s Aid?

Women’s Aid has volunteering opportunities regionally within our Women’s Aid Refuges and Advice Centres throughout Northern Ireland. Please contact your local Women’s Aid group for further information.

Volunteering with the 24 Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline

The Helpline has just completed a big volunteer recruitment drive and we regret that we will not be recruiting again until September 2017. We apologise for any inconvenience and we hope you will consider applying in the future. 

If you are interested in volunteering with the 24 Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline, please complete the volunteer application form. We will keep your details on file and will get in touch when we begin the next recruitment cycle.

Helpline volunteers will be responsible for providing direct information, support and crisis intervention to anyone experiencing domestic violence and to voluntary and statutory organisations.

What is expected of me?

As a Helpline volunteer you will need to have:

  • the ability to convey warmth and care over the telephone, to be non-judgemental and support women in whatever decision they make
  • a commitment to the organisation and the work we do. You must also ask yourself if you have the time to offer a regular commitment, even if only a few hours, and
  • time – the training takes place over six months which includes shadowing and induction.

What should I expect in return?

  • You will be fully trained in a number of areas including:
    • domestic violence awareness training
    • self-help ethos of Women’s Aid
    • law and domestic violence
    • risk assessment and safety planning
    • effective helping skills
    • telephone/listening skills
    • written skills to incorporate email/text support
    • sexual violence
    • child protection
    • database training, and
    • equality and diversity
  • You will receive regular one to one support and supervision.
  • You will be doing something worthwhile by giving something back to the community.
  • It will provide you with the chance to gain experience in this area, which may help to open up other opportunities in the future.
  • Hopefully, you will also develop new friendships and interests.

What next?

If you would like to become involved with the Helpline please complete the application form and your details will be kept on file until the next recruitment. An information session will then take place for all potential volunteers, information regarding this will be available on the website.

After the information session, a selection process will take place and successful volunteers will begin the training program which takes approximately six months, so as stated above, commitment is key.

What volunteers say about the helpline:

I really enjoy volunteering with the helpline because I feel it is a great way to help others. I have met lots of really lovely people and learnt new professional and practical skills.

I have learnt so much through my experience of volunteering and it has helped me change my career path through the skills I have gained through the training and the work. Thank you to all at the helpline!

I used to volunteer with the helpline, it was an invaluable experience, which helped me get a job in the community sector which I never thought I would be skilled enough to do. Through the training, support and supervision I received during my time at the helpline it has changed my outlook on life and increased my confidence to help me move on.

I enjoy the routine of coming in for my weekly shift, I know that even if there is one call that I may have made a difference and that is really important to me, to give something back to the organisation and the community as a whole.

Volunteering on the Helpline gives me great fulfilment; being there for someone in need.

The helpline is a very welcoming place to be a volunteer.

I started volunteering with the Helpline because I wanted to support people who had no one else to turn to, three years later when I arrive for each shift I know that I am still doing that. I feel so privileged to be able to offer support to callers and know that just being there for someone when they need it might make a massive amount of difference in their lives. Becoming a part of the Helpline team has been an experience that has not only made me feel that my contribution is valuable, but has helped me to develop personally in so many ways that I could never have expected.