Helpline and email support volunteers
Our helpline and email support volunteers provide confidential emotional support via email and/or telephone to survivors of rape and sexual abuse.
Who we are looking for
Self-identifying women who are:
• Empathetic, non-judgemental and good listeners
• Able to commit to volunteering for at least 18 months
• Able to commit to a minimum of three shifts a month
• Able to maintain confidentiality and anonymity
• Open to discussing and learning about rape and sexual violence, and its impacts on women and girls
How to get in touch
If this sounds like you, or you would like to know more, email firstname.lastname@example.org for an application pack.
We especially welcome applications from BME (black and minority ethnic) women and LBT (lesbian, bisexual and trans) women.
We can contribute to childcare costs and reasonable travel expenses to enable women to volunteer on the helpline/email service.
We have an active and enthusiastic group of women who organise fundraising events and initiatives to raise money for Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre. This is an essential part of our mission, as the funds raised help keep our services running, as well as allowing us to develop new services to support survivors of sexual violence. The volunteers also help to raise awareness of our services within the local community. Our fundraising group usually meets one Tuesday of each month, from 6-8pm.
To express your interest please email us at email@example.com
We have an active and committed group of women who are Trustees for Cambridge Rape Crisis. While we are not actively seeking additional Trustees, if you think you would like to join our board and have the passion for our cause, then please do get in touch.
If you are wondering whether you are the ‘right kind of person’ to be a Trustee, let us reassure you that we have no rigid picture in mind. As with our volunteer body, we welcome women from all walks of life, with all levels and types of experience, provided that they have the time and commitment to make a contribution, and the skills to help them work as a team. Naturally, some positions require more formal experience and training, but in general what we look for is:
- Commitment to Cambridge Rape Crisis Centre;
- Willingness and ability to devote the necessary time and effort;
- Strategic vision;
- Good, independent judgement;
- Ability to think creatively;
- Willingness to speak her mind;
- Understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship;
- Ability to work effectively as a member of a team; and
- Willingness to uphold Nolan’s seven principles of public life: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.
I want to volunteer, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to handle listening to distressing calls and reading distressing emails. Should I apply?
We have a support system of debriefing and supervision which helps volunteers with the emotional side of the work. If after reading the application pack you still aren’t sure whether to apply, you can speak to the Volunteer Co-ordinator who will try to answer any questions you may have.
No – all our volunteers are asked to tell us their availabilities for the coming month and we fill in the rota based on that. This means that you might do a Wednesday shift one week, a Thursday the next week, have a week off and then do a Saturday shift the following week, or any variation of shifts!
We do ask all volunteers to attend a monthly supervision, which runs on a Monday and a Tuesday to give people flexibility. We also have quarterly volunteer meetings and regular social activities.
There are ten sessions, usually on consecutive Sundays over the course of ten weeks. We cover many different aspects of rape and sexual abuse, including ritual abuse, childhood sexual abuse, prostitution, and police and court procedures. We don’t expect you to know everything there is to know about sexual violence before applying! We want to make sure that all our volunteers are fully prepared to support our callers and emailers with anything they want to talk about.
As the training is comprehensive, it is vital that you attend all the sessions. We understand that people can have unexpected issues that prevent them from coming to a training session so we would ask that you go to the session you missed when the next group begins. If you miss one of the first two sessions, we would ask you to re-join the next training group from the beginning.
We ask people to commit to 3 helpline shifts a month, all year round, so that we can ensure we have enough people to keep open for every shift. We understand that people have lots of different obligations in their lives and we can sometimes make exceptions. Just get in touch and we can see whether there could be an arrangement that works for you and us.
Unfortunately, no – we are a confidential and anonymous service, which means that our volunteers don’t tell anyone except close friends and family that they are part of the organisation.