Essential Helpline Skills

About the event

Confidence and skills in call handling from the outset are the building blocks for an effective helpline in terms of delivery, staff retention and service user satisfaction. Ensure new call handlers effectively and efficiently manage contacts whilst adhering to the remit of your service.

Download Course Outline

Outcomes & Objectives:

  • explore the structure of a call and the challenges of each stage
  • learn effective listening and questioning techniques
  • learn how to deal with silences
  • experience and understand the power of paraphrasing
  • understand how beliefs and assumptions influence us
  • understand the difference between directive and non-directive support
  • learn how to signpost callers to other sources of support
  • know how to establish rapport and maintain professionalism
  • know how and when to end a contact appropriately

Who should attend?:
This course is ideal for new helpline workers and can be a refresher for those wishing to top up their skills.


Helplines Learning Pass: Book anyone on 3 or more training courses and receive a 10% discount. Find out more

Cancellation Policy: By booking you are agreeing to our Cancellation Policy

Onsite Delivery: This course can be delivered onsite and also tailored to make case studies relevant to your helpline. To find out more contact us on 0300 330 7777 or

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Sonya McMullan

BSSC Social Policy and Sociology, MSSc Human Rights Law and Criminal Justice and BLegSci in Law.

Sonya is a qualified trainer and is accredited through Institute of Learning and Management, and is an accredited facilitator and assessor through the Open College Network in Northern Ireland.

Sonya manages the 24 Hour Domestic and Sexual Violence Helpline in Northern Ireland which is managed by Women’s Aid Federation Northern Ireland. Sonya has been employed by Women’s Aid for 15 years and her experience includes training, support, supervision, management, whilst also being responsible for the operational and strategic management and governance of the helpline.

Sonya develops accredited training programmes and training materials for the Helpline and Women’s Aid.

Sonya is the designated Child Protection Officer within the Helpline and the Risk Assessment Co-ordinator.

Sonya has been working with Helplines Partnership to develop and deliver helpline training to a range of organisations throughout the UK and Republic of Ireland for the last seven years and her training has always been well received especially because her "helpline experience really enriches the learning" (Rural Support).