Online Information Volunteer

Hourglass - safer aging, stopping abuse

Register your Interest

Hourglass is looking for volunteers to support their new online information services, specifically the Instant Messenger and Text Message services.

Alongside a team of staff and volunteers working across the UK on our well-established Helpline, you will play a vital front-line role in supporting older people and others, as well as referring on to other sources of help and expertise. 

Hourglass is a UK-wide charity dedicated to calling time on the harm, abuse and exploitation of older people. We promote safer ageing and a fairer society for all older people, delivering a range of support services from prevention and early intervention, right through to direct support and recovery.

Key Tasks:

  • Provide information about support options and safer ageing.
  • Explain safeguarding approaches to service users in a way that they can best understand.
  • Ensure service users receive advice and support which is appropriate to their needs in a non-judgmental manner and which clearly identifies realistic and achievable options.
  • To treat service users with dignity and respect.
  • Provide practical and personal support to service users, assessing the nature of each call/enquiry and responding in an empathetic and supportive manner.
  • Undertake follow up contact with service users on a pre-determined basis to provide further support and/or ascertain outcomes; seeking contact details when possible.
  • Distribute follow-up information materials to online information service users via post, email or other electronic methods.
  • To notify the Helpline or other Manager of any circumstances in which there may be immediate risk to a caller and act as authorized.
  • Maintain enquiry records using the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) database and other internal records.
  • Share relevant information relating to enquiries with Helpline and Community Response colleagues in line with organisational practice relating to data protection and confidentiality.
  • To assist in maintaining information resources, including briefing packs to be issued to service users. To inform the Information Manager of new information requirements.
  • Identify service users who may be willing to speak to the media, bringing these to the attention of the Helpline Manager/management team.
  • To undertake research to identify statutory, voluntary or other agencies or individuals who could receive information to publicize the online information services / Helpline and other charity services.
  • To attend and participate in training events as required.


  • An ability to analyse objectively, and provide advice and guidance in a non-judgmental manner.
  • An ability to work as part of a team, be flexible and adaptable according to changing needs, and work to deadlines.
  • An ability to liaise and communicate effectively (both in writing and orally) and work collaboratively with colleagues and outside agencies.
  • An ability to constructively challenge and advocate on behalf of enquirers, identifying issues key to the individual circumstances, and pursuing matters to a satisfactory conclusion.
  • Able to manage own workload, cope with challenging or emotional enquirers, and be non-judgmental and empathetic. 
  • An ability to demonstrate a positive attitude to older people and a demonstrable interest in challenging the abuse of older people.
  • An ability to deal appropriately with sensitive issues.
  • Numeracy and literacy skills of an excellent standard to respond to online enquiries, provide reports and observations, and maintain administrative records as required.
  • Understanding/experience of issues relating to older people, adult safeguarding, abuse, and/or health and social care.
  • Direct experience of working with older people.
  • To identify own needs for support, including emotional support, and use support services as needed.


  • Make a difference – empowering others to combat abuse and promote safer ageing.
  • Access to a range of training options .
  • Use and develop skills and build confidence. 
  • Create a network of colleagues and friends .
  • Gain experience of volunteering to develop personal and career plans.

Practical Considerations

  • Location: Home-based initially, although the post-holder may be required to move to an office location when government restrictions allow.
  • Able to commit to 2 hours from 12-2pm
  • Able to commit to training.
  • Volunteer must be 18 years+
  • DBS/PVG/Access NI criminal records check, (if required).

Training and Support:

  • 4 days core Front-line Services Training.
  • Additional Instant Messenger Training & Text Service Training.
  • Shadowing of Helpline & Online Services.
  • Regular Helpline/Volunteer team meetings.

When do I need to be available?

Details Time slot 2 hours from 12-2pm. Time commitment 2-4 hours for weekday afternoon slots.
Morning Afternoon Evening

Register your Interest

  • Details
  • Disabled Access
  • Equal Opportunities Policy or Statement
  • Expenses
    Authorised travel and refreshment costs reimbursed
  • Health and Safety
  • Induction
  • Insurance Cover for Volunteers
  • Suitable for 13 - 16 years
  • Suitable for 16 - 18 years
  • Suitable for a group of volunteers
  • Suitable only for (e.g. 18+, LGBT, BAME, Women only)
    Must be 18+yrs
  • Support on Offer
  • Training