Helpline Volunteer

Hourglass Northern Ireland


4hrs once a week -
minimum commitment

Mon- Fri
9.00am-1.00pm/1.00pm - 5.00pm

Where we are

Hourglass NI
PO Box 216
BT35 5DH

About the Volunteer Opportunity

Our Helpline volunteers are often the first port of call for vulnerable older people (or perhaps worried family members or carers). They provide a listening ear, emotional support and explore various sources of help. You don’t need to be expert in abuse or the support framework for victims – just compassionate, understanding and have an interest in issues affecting older people. We’ll provide full training, and you’ll have extensive support from our staff and other volunteers in the team.

If the following apply to you, then we want to hear from you:

  • you are aged 18 or over;
  • you enjoy working with older people;
  • you have excellent communication skills;
  • you can build a rapport with older people, and or people in distress;
  • you can provide empathy, advice, support or just be someone who can listen;
  • you are willing to undertake comprehensive training to provide you with the relevant knowledge and skills to handle helpline calls.

We’re looking for home based volunteers throughout Northern Ireland.

Can you offer your time for just one shift a week ? We’d like you to take calls for a minimum of half a day (4 hours ), at least one day a week (Monday – Friday (09:00-13:00/13:00-17:00)).

Tasks and responsibilities

  • Answer helpline calls, providing appropriate information, advice and support to callers,
  • Respond to helpline email enquiries
  • Use of Hourglass IT systems to accurately record caller communications and responses

On offer of role our volunteers are asked to complete a 6 module Helpline Training Programme delivered over 3 days currently via zoom. This includes supporting the volunteer to understand and develop knowledge on:   Hoursglass, who we are & what we do; our helpline & key advice; support framework for older people; getting ready to take helpline calls. In addition we provide IT systems training to support call handling and data recording. Volunteers then complete a call listening phase to develop knowledge and confidence further and receive and induction and reference pack before commencing on our Helpline.

Ongoing training needs are regularly assessed with both individual volunteers and the helpline team as a whole to identify gaps or areas for further training required.

Volunteers are supported through each shift via an online chat/ phone with the team of staff and volunteers on call, as well as by the community response coordinator. In addition volunteer check-in’s are regularly scheduled to ensure volunteer are comfortable and confident in their role.

About the Organisation

Hourglass is the only charity dedicated to calling time on the harm, abuse and exploitation of older people in Northern Ireland and across the United Kingdom. With more than 25 years’ experience and expertise, our mission is to listen, advise and support vulnerable older people and all those affected by abuse and neglect throughout the UK.

Hourglass Northern Ireland is the voice for older people at risk. We support the creation of a society that truly values older people – where those at risk can live free from abuse perpetrated by those in whom they have an expectation of trust. When abuse occurs, we seek an environment where it can be identified and addressed.

Volunteers are central to the way Hourglass work, enabling the support of older people in communities across Northern Ireland. Involving volunteers allows Hourglass to support more older people at risk of or experiencing harm, abuse and exploitation. Volunteers bring a wealth of local knowledge, adding a diversity of experience and approaches to offer a quality service to those in need of vital help and support.

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Register your interest

Volunteers may be required to complete an Access NI disclosure for some volunteering roles.  A criminal record will not necessarily be a bar to obtaining a volunteer position.