Coronavirus Message from Paula Ojok, CEO at Helplines Partnership

Annika Howard
Coronavirus – Helplines supporting each other illustration of people with headsets

Coronavirus – Helplines supporting each other

Increased pressures are being placed on the helpline sector due to the coronavirus. It’s clear, that over the coming weeks our working and home-life practices will be changing.

The government advises that people need to start working from home if they possibly can.

At Helplines Partnership the whole team has worked remotely for several years.

We use a variety of tools and systems to be able to work effectively and communicate with one another, such as a virtual call centre, using our partner Call Handling’s VCC system.

Share your learnings and experiences

As a Helplines Partnership member, many of your fellow members will be facing and responding to similar challenges.

It is likely there will be increased demand for your service along with staff and volunteers either unable to work or having to adapt to home working.

There is a huge amount of knowledge and experience within the HLP team and membership and it can help to hear from others in comparable situations to share learning and experiences.

If you have a question or you can share a solution that you’ve put in place, that could help your fellow members then please get in touch.

Supporting each other

We have had reports that helplines are seeing an increase in calls and an increasing level of people’s anxiety and mental health.

It is important that staff and volunteers on helplines and for those taking calls from home, have safeguards and support.

There has also been a series of threads on Twitter with people asking about volunteering for helplines while they are in self-isolation.

Is this something that you would consider? Do you have means in place to remotely train volunteers?

Looking after yourself and your team

The coronavirus pandemic is adding extra pressure to many organisations that are already stretched and are now facing unforeseen additional challenges.

We all have a responsibility to look after ourselves, our staff, volunteers and service users. Try to ensure that you are alert and have measures in place to avoid the risk of vicarious trauma and burn out.

Regular updates

We regularly monitor advice from the Government and Public Health England, and we will update our plans as appropriate based on their guidance.

Remember we are your helpline if you have queries or questions please do get in touch.

Last updated 18-03-20