Email volunteer counsellor role Can you spare some time to answer emails from children who need our help?
Childline is a vital 24-hour service available to support children and young people by phone and online, whatever their worry or concern.
As a volunteer email counsellor, you'll join a team of dedicated volunteers to listen and answer every young person contacting us. With your help, we can ensure all children and young people have someone to turn to.
What our volunteers say
"I enjoy the relaxed feel of the daytime PIB shifts as the contacts aren't live, we have the radio on in the background. They are a great way to use listening and reflecting skills which I feel is at the heart of person-centred counselling... Personally I love PIBs and feel a young person can say so much in one sentence."
Carol Baxter, Email only counsellor
"PIB shifts bring all the rewards of having the privilege of responding to the amazing young people who contact us whilst allowing this to be done more at a pace with which we feel comfortable. With any PIB, no matter what the subject matter is, the support is there immediately."
Michael Egan, Email only and dual counsellor
"I've found it a very worthwhile experience to be a volunteer responding to emails from young people, and one where you're learning on the job all the time... Every email is different, and we work hard to give as useful a response as we possibly can. I'd definitely encourage anyone who's interested to give it a go!"
Sue Stanley, Email only counsellor
How to play your part
You'll need to be available:
- to take part in a full day's training session
- for one 4 hour and 1/4 shift at the same time each week, for a minimum commitment of 1 year.
You'll need to be the kind of person who:
- is a good communicator
- can identify and deal with stress appropriately
- is able to engage and empathise with people and the problems or concerns they may have
- has a good level of IT skills or is willing to learn
What's new about this role?
A volunteer coordinator in Liverpool sums it up:
"Being on a non-live shift is a brand-new concept to Childline. Counsellors' only focus will be emails – the pressure of live calls and online chats queueing in the background is removed – and you'll work in a supervised and very supported environment.
We are receiving an ever-increasing number of emails from children and young people, so our email-only shifts will help us to respond to them as soon as possible. Training is one day only – you can then get involved straight away."
Training and support for volunteers
Last year a third of all calls to our helpline were about neglect, a figure that's even higher at Christmas. Donate now and help shine a light on children left in the dark.