Helpline volunteer

Hourglass - safer aging, stopping abuse

Register your Interest

Hourglass is an established charity working to prevent the abuse of older people, raise awareness and encourage safer ageing.

Staff and volunteers working on the Helpline provide confidential information and guidance to callers. The helpline receives calls from victims, friends and families of victims, and other professionals and agencies who may be referring victims of elder abuse to Hourglass.

We are looking for more volunteers for the helpline. During the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteers will work from home. 

The purpose of the role is to provide a telephone advice and support service, assisting callers to explore the options available to them regarding elder abuse. Taking action with their agreement and on their behalf in accordance with organisational policies.

As a helpline volunteer, your tasks will be:

To answer helpline calls, providing appropriate information, advice and support to callers, and to write appropriate and accurate responses to written enquiries (emails / letters / social media messages) from service users within agreed timescales. Use of in house IT systems to record all forms of communication on the helpline.

Assessing the nature of each call and responding in an empathetic and supportive manner, ensuring callers receive advice and support which is appropriate to their needs in a non-judgemental manner and which clearly identifies realistic and achievable options.

Explain safeguarding approaches to callers in a way that they can best understand, respecting their need to receive as correct and as full information or advice as they are able to do, providing initial emotional support, and treating them with dignity and respect regardless of the approach taken by them.

As authorised by organisational policy, to make safeguarding referrals on behalf of callers who request or require such support, pursuing conclusions that are satisfactory to the caller. 

To notify the Helpline staff or a member of management of any circumstances in which there may be immediate risk to a caller and to take action as authorised.

To maintain records of all helpline calls personally taken, making referrals / signposting to relevant agencies, performing any administrative tasks connected with taking calls before ending shifts, update relevant information to staff/volunteers on the incoming shift.

Attending helpline group meetings and debriefing sessions as agreed, attending relevant training sessions and adhering to health and safety regulations and to Action on Elder abuse equal opportunities policy.

Understand when it is necessary to seek support from more experienced colleagues or external agencies, and take appropriate action. To be able to recognise and work within personal and organisational boundaries.

We ask for a minimum commitment of one year.


We look for people who understand and empathise with the charity’s objectives

  • Are reliable and consistent · Have excellent listening and communication skills (essential)
  • Patience and an open mind / non-judgemental
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality
  • Ability to use a computer efficiently to maintain records
  • Works well within a team
  • Recognise their own boundaries and seek support when needed.


  • The opportunity to use and develop skills and gain confidence 
  • Get involved with the UKs only elder abuse charity and build a network of colleagues and friends
  • Playing a key role in raising awareness of elder abuse
  • Making a difference – empowering others to combat elder abuse ·
  • Attend yearly Hourglass conference – networking and building relationships in the workplace environment ·
  • Valuable experience of volunteering that you can add to your CV

Practical Considerations

Induction training will be provided and ongoing support is available.

  • In house 3 Day Core Training Programme
  • Debriefing with management and colleagues after calls
  • To identify own needs for support, including emotional support, and use support services as needed.
  • Opportunity to attend and participate in external training events.

When do I need to be available?

Details Committed to the role for at least 1 year. Volunteers must be able to commit to working a minimum of a weekly four hour shift. The days and times are negotiable. Role is subject to a 3 month probation period
Morning Afternoon Evening

Register your Interest

  • Details
  • Disabled Access
  • Equal Opportunities Policy or Statement
  • Expenses
  • Health and Safety
  • Induction
  • Insurance Cover for Volunteers
  • Other
  • Suitable for 13 - 16 years
  • Suitable for 16 - 18 years
  • Suitable for a group of volunteers
  • Support on Offer
  • This role is adaptable for different abilities
  • Training