Volunteer for Let’s Keep Talking

If you can spare anything from one hour per week upwards, on a regular basis, have access to a phone that you can use to make confidential calls from, and are interested in having useful conversations with people in need, you could become a volunteer for Let’s Keep Talking!

What does the role entail?

The role of a Let’s Keep Talking volunteer caller consists of the following tasks:

• making calls to clients at pre-arranged times: these can last anything from 15 minutes to 1 hour, depending upon the needs and preferences of the clients, so some flexibility is needed;

• using (and, if necessary, undertaking initial training in – see below) solution-focused practice to hold solution-focused conversations with clients;

• after each call, providing basic information to Let’s Keep Talking administrators about the call (whether it went ahead as planned, how long it was and if a further call has been arranged);

• attending peer supervision sessions via Zoom, for 2 hours on a bi-monthly basis;

• making and submitting occasional recordings of your calls with clients, for supervision purposes;

• abiding by certain rules and ethical practices with regard to confidentiality, responding to risk and the holding of personal information (training and guidance will be given).

What qualifications and/or experience is needed?

There are no specific qualifications or experience that you must have in order to become a Let’s Keep Talking volunteer caller. Since we provide in-house training in solution-focused practice, and will assess your readiness to start making calls as part of this process, all that we ask is that you have a genuine interest in doing this kind of work, are able to commit to working with us for a period of at least 6 months and are willing to devote the equivalent of up to 5 full days of self-study and online training Zoom seminars before getting started with your calls. 

Although we do not specifically ask for training or experience in psychology, counselling, therapy, coaching, etc, having already worked in this sort of area can mean that the initial training period is shorter, as you will already have some skills in having helpful conversations with people, which can be transferred to this setting. However, since Let’s Keep Talking is principally a service that offers solution-focused conversations to its clients, even very experienced and highly qualified therapists, counsellors, psychologists, etc, will need to undertake some training with us, unless they can demonstrate that they already have a thorough grounding in using solution-focused practice. The exact amount of time needed for training in advance of starting to make calls is tailored to fit the individual volunteer and, in practice, ranges from 2 hours to 5 days.

What’s in it for me?

All of our Let’s Keep Talking volunteers find this work rewarding, inspiring and engaging, largely because of the privilege of talking to people who may be going through very tough times yet who manage to move forward and make changes, encouraged and supported by the conversations we offer them. 

Liverpool University School of Management undertook a research evaluation study, the results of which were published in July 2021, which explored the value of the service not only to clients but also to volunteer callers. Please see this page for details of the research and to read some quotes from some of our volunteer callers who were interviewed anonymously for this study.

In addition to the intrinsic satisfaction of doing this work, being a volunteer caller also gives to access to a wonderful group of people, all of whom are doing the same work and who are interested in sharing their experiences and developing their skills, especially in solution-focused practice.  You will also receive regular supervision and feedback on your work either from Dr Suzi Curtis (who is also Accreditation Lead for the UK Association for Solution Focused Practice –  UKASFP.org) or from Kidge Burns, accredited solution-focused-practitioner, published author in Solution Focused Practice and Accreditor for the UKASFP. 
Financially, we are still trying to establish regular sources of funding so that, in future, we may be able to offer more in the way of paid sessional work for Let’s Keep Talking and having worked as a volunteer for us would definitely put you in a good position to apply for this work in the future. 

Finally, as an HCPC and BPS registered Clinical Psychologist, the service manager, Dr Suzi Curtis, would be happy to offer one-to-one supervision to anyone aspiring to apply for the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Training who is actively volunteering for Let’s Keep Talking.

How do I get started?

Simply fill in the form below and one of our team will be in touch!

Volunteer for us