Helpline volunteer

Hourglass - safer ageing, stopping abuse

Register your Interest

Hourglass is looking for volunteers to support our national Helpline . 

We  are recruiting more volunteers to support our free national helpline providing confidential advice, information and support via telephone, email and other online methods to people experiencing, or at risk of abuse as well as referring on to other specialist services and organisations to callers from all 4 nations of the UK.

The Helpline receives calls from older people, friends and relatives, professionals and agencies who are, or are concerned about victims of abuse.

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:

Helpline calls and enquiries:

  • 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.
  • Provide practical and personal support to service users, assessing the nature of each call/enquiry and responding in an empathetic and supportive manner.
  • Treat service users with dignity and respect.

Making referrals:

  • Make safeguarding referrals and liaise on behalf of service users who request or require such support.
  • Notify the Helpline or other Manager of any circumstances in which there may be immediate risk to a caller and take action as authorised. 

Sharing and logging information:

  • Maintain Helpline records using the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) database and other internal records.
  • Share relevant information relating to calls/enquiries with Helpline colleagues in line with organisational practice relating to data protection and confidentiality. 
  • Identify service users who may be willing to speak to the media, bringing these to the attention of the Helpline Manager/management team.


  • Demonstrate a positive attitude to older people and an interest in challenging abuse and promoting safer ageing.
  • Actively listen and provide practical and emotional support to service users, assessing the nature of each call/enquiry and responding in an empathetic and supportive manner.
  • Have the ability to deal appropriately with sensitive issues and with challenging or emotional callers. 
  • Excellent listening and communication skills. 
  • Maintain confidentiality.
  • Be reliable and consistent. 
  • Good IT skills to use in-house call handling system and maintain Helpline records .
  • Ability to work as part of a team and adapt to changing need. 
  • Able to manage own workload and meet deadlines.
  • Understand when it is necessary and seek support from manager, colleagues or external agencies and take appropriate action. 
  • Carry out the role in accordance with Hourglass Policies and Procedures, including Health and Safety and Equality and Diversity. 
  • Able to recognise and operate within personal and organisational boundaries.


  • 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 - currently home-based.
  • Minimum age 18 years+
  • Able to commit to staying with service for a minimum of six months.
  • Role is subject to 3-month probation period.
  • DBS/PVG/Access NI criminal records checks, (if required).

Training and Support:

  • 3-day in-house core Induction and Helpline Training Course. 
  • Bespoke/top-up Helpline training modules.
  • Hourglass Volunteer Training Programme.
  • Opportunities to attend and participate in external training events

When do I need to be available?

Details Committed to the role for at least 6 months. Time commitment 4 hours per week, (am or pm). Role is subject to a 3-month probation period
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
  • Other
  • 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)
  • Support on Offer
  • This role is adaptable for different abilities
  • Training