We would like to offer our congratulations and thanks to the women who are currently completing the Women's Aid Helpline Volunteer training and moving through the induction process to support women on the Helpline. We have thoroughly enjoyed our time in the training with this group and are really looking forward to our continued work with them into the future.
The Helpline Volunteer training provide volunteers with an in-depth understanding and analysis of domestic violence as well as equipping them with the skills necessary to respond effectively to women on the Helpline. The training is carried out over eight sessions delivered by the Women's Aid Training and Development and Direct Services teams, and followed by an induction with Helpline staff, and volunteers make a two year commitment to volunteering.
Living with domestic violence is lonely and isolating. Sometimes there is nobody to tell and sometimes women are afraid they will not be believed. For many women who contact the Helpline, the volunteer who answers the phone may be the first person they have told about their abuse. It may have taken years to work up the courage to finally speak about their experience.
But, thousands of women every year find the courage to seek out support from Women's Aid. That's why it is so vital that we operate our helpline every day, and the dedication of our current and new volunteers and Helpline staff ensures that this is possible, answering over 11,000 calls each year. One current volunteer describes the experience:
"It is amazing how much of a positive effect you can have on women by just listening, understanding and believing their story. This is a very rewarding part of the work particularly when you reach the end of the call and you can hear the calm or renewed strength in a woman's voice. You know then that Women's Aid has helped another woman to keep safe and supported her on whatever path she chooses."
You can read more about the Helpline here and future volunteer opportunities will be advertised in this e-zine.