Helplines Are Here

Nicola James

This year Helplines Partnership celebrates 25 years of support to helplines and the wider communities they support across UK society at large. Helpline staff and volunteers are the last resort and sometimes the first and only resort for people in need. 

Occasionally, these needs are simple, a piece of information or advice, some help to make better sense of something. But, more often, needs are of a vital nature. Many of our members provide support to people faced with desperate situations such as homelessness, bereavement, addiction, suicide, loneliness, and illness. No matter who is on the other side, whatever the need, helplines are always there.

To acknowledge the depth of support of what helplines provide to society, as well as the spirit of those who work in helplines, Helplines Partnership has adopted the slogan "helplines are here", for this year's annual conference.

"Helplines are here" represents who we are as an association, as well as what our members stand for and represent. Helplines Partnership has been around for a quarter of a century. Many changes have taken place in the world over the past 25 years. We have progressed with the times too. Helplines need telecommunication and information technologies in order to operate effectively and efficiently. Helplines Partnership has been an innovator and advocate for the early adoption of technology in our sector. Indeed, at our forthcoming conference we have invited several thought leaders to present and discuss their ideas about the digital transformation of helplines and what the future will bring. But regardless of the future, or the past, there is one thing that always remains constant, sometimes people need support to face something difficult.

Helplines are all about people. Neither we, nor our members, ever forget that. We are dealing with people every day. Empathy is the keyword of what we do. Technology, however advanced and sophisticated, cannot substitute the human factor in an interaction with someone who is desperate and has no one else to turn to.  Helplines provide personalised, tailored support to people who are vulnerable, or facing a challenge too big to face alone.

Helplines Partnership is here after 25 years, and we look forward to the next quarter of a century confident that we have an important role to play. We would like to invite everyone to celebrate with us, the service that helplines provide to society. Listen and share the conversation about helplines by using the hash tag #helplinesarehere on Twitter and Facebook. Tell us your stories, whether you have worked or volunteered for a helpline, or indeed if you were one of the millions of people supported by a helpline at a difficult time, it would be really good to hear from you.

Find out more about how Helplines Partnership can support your helpline.

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