Annual Conference 2018

Helplines Partnership: Annual Awards and Conference 2018

When and where is the event?

The AGM and Annual Conference is on Wednesday 14 November 2018. Registration opens
at 9:00 am and the event concludes at 5:00 pm. The venue is: De Vere West One, 9-10 Portland Place, London W1B 1PR

What is the event about?

Helplines - Why, What and How? - The annual event for the helpline sector brings together a diverse and engaging programme to celebrate, inform and enrich the work of helplines. Join us to celebrate and recognise the dedication and commitment within our sector as we showcase the winners of the Helpline Awards 2018.

Who should attend?

This event attracts everyone from the helpline sector ranging from commissioners, chief executives, leaders and co-ordinators from across the voluntary, commercial and independent sectors.

How much does it cost?

Prices below are exclusive of VAT.

Member: £149
Our Community: £199
Non-Member: £249

Your ticket includes lunch, refreshments, seminars and conference materials.

What can I expect if I attend?

The event programme will feature:

  • expert speakers from leaders in the sector
  • a panel debating and exploring issues facing helplines
  • legislative insights and updates affecting our sector
  • practical seminars to develop and enhance service delivery
  • learning and networking opportunities with a diverse range of delegates and partners

Details of the full programme will be announced shortly.

What was last year's Annual Conference like?

Last year's Annual Conference was a resounding success with delegates feeding back the following benefits of attending:

  • Very relevant and inspiring
  • Humbling and moving. Helps keep things in perspective
  • Best session of the day, network and information sharing session
  • Raw and powerful
  • Lovely to recognise and award achievement
  • Really interesting innovative concept for a Conference. Well done
  • This is the best Conference I have attended
  • Fantastic, funny and moving
  • Excellent day thanks

More about our previous conference can be found here

How do I book?

You need to register on our website prior to booking and if you have already registered you can go straight to booking.

Book your place

Interested in becoming a sponsor?

Becoming a sponsor for the event will raise the credibility and visibility of your organisation. It enables you to demonstrate corporate social responsibility within a sector committed to providing support to millions of individuals.

Sponsor package

Contact Us

For more information or to book please contact us on: 0300 330 7777 or email:

The speakers and presenters


Comedian, Speaker, Actress and Writer 

Francesca is a wobbly* comedian, writer, and speaker who has toured internationally with sell-out runs at The Melbourne Comedy Festival, The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal. She launched her comedy career in 2000 beating a thousand UK comedians including Mathew Horne and Jimmy Carr, to become the only woman to win the Open Mic Award.

Since appearing in five series of BBC’s Grange Hill, Francesca has starred in many other TV shows including BBC2’s Extras opposite Kate Winslet, BBC3’s Russell Howard’s Good News, and headlined ITV’s The Jonathan Ross Show.

Her best-selling book, ‘What The **** Is Normal?!’, was published in 2014. Nominated Best Book in the Chortle Comedy Awards 2015, and runner up in the Bread & Roses Book Award 2015, the book has garnered rave reviews from critics and the public alike.

A regular commentator on TV and radio, Francesca delivers motivational and after dinner speeches across the globe – in 2005 she was nominated for the ‘Motivator of the Year’ Award along with Sir Bob Geldof.

* Oh yeah, she has mild cerebral palsy but she much prefers the word ‘wobbly’. Find out more on Francesca’s website.

Member Speaker - STEVE STOCKLEY, Helpline Manager at Fosterline

Steve has been manager of Fosterline (the national fostering advice and support service) since 2013. The service is run on behalf of the Department of Education for all current and prospective foster carers in England.

Steve is a foster carer and adopter himself and is passionate in promoting the best possible outcomes for children and young people within the care system.

Specialist Speaker - TOM WATSON, Business and Communications Lead, NAVCA

Talk – “Making the most of digital”

Specialist Speaker - SIMON STEWART, Senior Product Manager (Caller Services) at Samaritans

Talk – “How do we recreate the supportive environment of a Samaritans branch online?”

Simon is working on the development of Samaritans online chat service and positioning this alongside other services in a way that makes sense for service users. He has previously worked in business change, digital product development and as a trainer and volunteer for Oxford Nightline. He is an advocate of user-centred, evidence-led approaches to service design and lean/agile approaches to development and delivery. He is one of those people who almost exclusively writes on post-it notes and is still in process of coming to terms with that fact.

Simon will be talking about the user research and design approaches Samaritans have used when turning their website from a place where services are advertised into a place where services are delivered – how do we recreate the supportive environment of a Samaritans branch online?

Specialist Speaker - DR SIMON DAVEY, Consultant and Guest Lecturer, Centre for Charity Effectiveness, Cass Business School

Talk – “Digital from Opportunities to Capabilities”

Dr Simon Davey works with individuals and organisations to overcome challenges, do things better and do better things. He focuses on digital, data and change and their application to transform the capabilities of organisations, staff and volunteers and enhance the outcomes for their beneficiaries. Simon has been working with charities since 2000, is a guest lecturer at Cass Business School’s Centre for Charity Effectiveness and an Independent Commissioner with the Direct Marketing Commission. His recent work has focused on transformation in the legal advice sector and identifying AI opportunities to improve access to justice.

Seminar Host - SHAUN DELANEY, Volunteering Development Manager at NCVO

Seminar 1 – “Volunteering – Why, What and How?”

Shaun oversees strategy for the development of volunteering and volunteer management good practice at NCVO. He joined NCVO following five years as head of volunteering at Samaritans, leading the involvement of 20,000 volunteers across the UK and Republic of Ireland. Before that he was with Volunteer Centre Greenwich supporting 300+ members organising to involve volunteers. He also worked on Olympic/Paralympic related programmes including Team London Ambassadors. He is currently a trustee and treasurer of Greater London Volunteering.

Seminar Host - MEGA ARUMUGAM, Trainer & Assessor at Helplines Partnership

Seminar 2 – “Why helpline worker supervision is important”

Mega has worked for over 10 years in the voluntary sector, namely within the domestic and sexual violence and abuse field and also has experience in volunteer management. She has managed, developed and led the specialist domestic and sexual violence helpline and crisis intervention teams. Mega is a professional and accredited trainer, specialising in designing and delivering domestic and sexual abuse, stalking and harassment, honour-based violence and child sexual exploitation training. She is also a telephone befriending volunteer for a national organisation supporting Parents Against Child Exploitation (PACE). In her current role as Trainer and Assessor for Helplines Partnership, Mega is using her experience within the helpline and voluntary sector to support helpline services in development, training and achieving the Helplines Standard accreditation.

Seminar Host - RACHAEL WYARTT, Head of Service Delivery at Helplines Partnership

Seminar 3 – “How to manage and end calls”

Rachael has worked in the voluntary and statutory sector since 2000. She started her career in Australia working in children’s homes in Melbourne in her gap year. On returning to the UK Rachael worked for Action for Children (AFC) working in the Leaving Care team in Lowestoft. Rachael then worked for GFS Platform as their Sexual Health Coordinator. This involved setting up a volunteer programme, delivering SRE in both formal and informal settings and opening school based health clinics. Whilst working at both AFC and GFS Platform, Rachael was involved in the set-up and running of a local charity in Suffolk for young people. Rachael then moved to London to manage Brook’s national helpline Ask Brook, which she did for five years.

Rachael has a BSc Hons in Health Sciences and Sociology and an Advanced Diploma in Nutrition and Weight Management. In her current role with Helplines Partnership, Rachael is using her considerable experience within the helpline and voluntary sector to support helpline services in development, training and achieving the Helplines Standard accreditation.

Seminar Host - DAN Q, Technical Director of Three Rings

Seminar 4 – “How to schedule effective helpline rotas with Three Rings”

Dan Q’s first decade of helpline volunteering experience helped shape the growth of Three Rings, the rota and volunteer management system that he invented. But he soon discovered quite how distinct and unique every helpline is and it was this discovery that inspired him and his team to develop Three Rings into the versatile and multifunctional tool it is today.

When he’s not volunteering with Three Rings or elsewhere Dan divides his attention between web application development, security consultancy, performing magic, and using military satellite networks to hunt for lost tupperware in the woods. He can usually be found in Oxford in pursuit of two exhausting children.