Call our free, confidential support line:
0808 801 0331
Monday to Thursday: 10am – 9pm
Friday: 10am – 6pm
Saturday and Sunday – Closed
We need more volunteers to join our friendly Stockport support line team. Could you do it? Read on to find out
10am-9pm Mondays to Thursdays & 10am-6pm on Fridays
You don’t need to be a survivor of abuse yourself to volunteer for NAPAC. What you do need is the willingness to understand and engage with the sometimes disturbing and traumatic experiences of our callers.
Supporting adult survivors of childhood abuse can be challenging. That’s why our volunteers need strong self-awareness, know how to ask and seek support and to be in the right place in their life to be able to support others.
We invest in our volunteers through intensive training. Once you have completed this training, you’ll do a four-hour shift every week for at least a year with our team in Stockport.
NAPAC was set up to support adults who are struggling to cope with the long-term consequences of any type of abuse or neglect. So on our telephone support line we hear from all sorts of people from all different backgrounds with all types of life experiences.
Each and every call is different and you need to be prepared to listen without judging. One in seven callers to our support line are telling someone for the first time in their lives about what they suffered in childhood.
What do you do for work?
I manage Student and Graduate Recruitment for a large accountancy firm.
How did you hear about NAPAC?
Through Manchester Community Central Library.
Were there any things which you were worried about and made you unsure about doing it?
I was unsure I would have the right experience and be able to help.
What appealed to you about volunteering for NAPAC?
I wanted to feel like I was giving back, like I was taking an active role in helping people in some small way.
How was the training?
The training was really interesting! Very thorough, the team made sure we were prepared before going live on the phones. I learnt a lot and was interested in the psychology behind what we were learning. Having the support line staff, with their career backgrounds in different but equally relevant fields, helped us to gain further insight and provided examples to give context to what we were learning.
When did you start taking calls?
What was it like taking your first call?
I remember it being nerve wracking. I was speaking to a young woman who at first was so quiet, you could hardly get two words out of her. I remember trying to coax how she was feeling out of her and try to put her at ease. It was difficult, I was worried I hadn’t done enough, but the support line supervisor talked me through.
What do you like most about being a volunteer on the support line?
For 4 hours a week, I don’t think about my life, worries, what I’m doing next weekend… I’m just listening. Reflecting on other people. I do enjoy it. It has given me perspective. It also has allowed me to see the power in just listening. I always try to find a solution but sometimes the solution is just talking and actually being heard. I’ve seen how important that is for our callers.
What do you find hardest about being on the support line?
That sometimes I just can’t imagine what they’ve been through. Even though I’ve been taking calls for four months, I’m still surprised by what people have experienced.
Any other comments you want to add to anyone who might be thinking about volunteering?
Don’t be scared if you don’t have relevant experience, don’t be scared and think you’ll be out of your depth. You won’t. The team at NAPAC are amazing and are so supportive and really care about you as a volunteer. They’ve done so much for me and my development.
In order to support survivors successfully, our volunteers need to have strong self-awareness, great active listening skills, and the ability to communicate in a way that is empowering to the caller.
To achieve this, we invest time and resources in providing excellent training to our prospective volunteers. This training takes place in Stockport over six weeks, in two-and-a-half hour sessions on the same evening every week. During this training, you will be introduced to the evidence base around childhood abuse, to the unique model that NAPAC works within and to the skills and tools you will be using on our national telephone support line, which is based in Stockport.
Following the training, prospective volunteers will undergo a period of ‘shadowing’ on the support line, learning from staff and more experienced volunteers. After this, when the time is right, you will go on the support line as a full volunteer.
We have to make sure that this volunteer role is right for you and that you are right for the role. That means that not all applications to become a volunteer are successful, or that everyone who goes through the training or shadowing will automatically become a full volunteer.
NAPAC also understands that this work can have a major emotional impact so we take our duty of care to look after our volunteers very seriously through our model of live supervision and support. This is part of what makes volunteering at NAPAC special – you’re truly part of a warm, encouraging and empathetic environment.
If you are interested in applying to NAPAC as a volunteer with our Stockport team, please get in touch with us using the form on the contact us page.
Hear from Rachel and Alan about volunteering
Your donations help us to train more volunteers.