Call: 0115 9348485
Text: 07481 344040
Registered Charity number 1114273
Formerly Nottingham & Notts Lesbian & Gay Switchboard
Volunteering and other ways of helping
We welcome new volunteers, particularly women and people from all ethnic groups.
You will need to use a database, expect to deal with a wide range of issues, have a sympathetic phone manner and respect the confidentiality of all callers. If you feel that you could help us with your time and skills, call us for further details.
To become a volunteer, you yourself must be lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans. You will need to take part in our Training Programme – which usually begins in the Autumn of each year, though some years there is also a Spring training programme.
Those who successfully complete their training are expected to staff one of the phone lines about once every two or three weeks, attend a monthly general meeting. The service is operated from our office at 7 Mansfield Road, Nottingham. These days, volunteers will deal with an increasing number of contacts by e-mail, texts and instant messaging which are gradually taking the place of phone contacts. As we have a presence on social media, we also get queries and requests which have to be dealt with through Facebook and Twitter. We ask our volunteers to agree to a Disclosure and Barring Service check.
Volunteers are also encouraged to get involved in those additional areas that are needed to keep the Network functioning: fundraising; training new volunteers; representing the Network at various meetings; staffing stalls at Pride and elsewhere; being a "reporter" for our bimonthly newsletter
PLEASE NOTE: Our service operates from our office at 7, Mansfield Road, Nottingham. The office has wheelchair access.
Our Training Programme
We usually have a training programme towards the end of each year. Sometimes there is a second programme in late Spring. The sequence of training is as follows:
1. People who are interested in volunteering are asked to fill in a brief questionnaire.
2. Those who return the questionnaire are invited for a two-way interview shortly before the formal training begins. It's "two-way" because we will ask you a few questions, but then allow time for you to ask us what you need to know about Switchboard.
3. Formal training takes place, usually as full day sessions on a couple of Sundays.
4. Training then continues "on the job" as you begin to deal with phone calls, e-mails, texts and letters under supervision. The different skills or "competencies" need to deal with the work successfully are assessed by those doing the supervision. When you have achieved all the "competencies", you will be accepted as a trained volunteer.
5. We occasionally have extra training sessions on specific subjects and also many of our monthly General Meetings include an element of training.
Apart from the satisfaction of helping those who contact us, what else do volunteers get out of being involved?
learning new skills
use skills that you already have in new contexts
using experience on CVs
meeting other like-minded volunteers
take part in social activities
making new friends
network with people from other voluntary and statutory organisations
being among the first to hear about important new developments
Other ways of helping. We always need
Up-to-date and accurate information about local groups, venues and events.
Donations or fund-raising ideas to help us continue our work. It is extremely difficult to raise the few thousand pounds a year we need.
Feedback (positive or negative) about the effectiveness of our service.
You can download an online application form by clicking HERE