Listening Post is a professional voluntary counselling service with its Cheltenham branch based at Hesters Way Community Resource Centre, Cassin Drive (very near the Cheltenham branch of Gloucestershire College and just up the road from GCHQ.)
Listening Post serve any adult (over 18s) resident of Gloucestershire, including those who might otherwise be financially prevented from accessing professional counselling support. The service does not charge a set fee for counselling sessions but rather asks people to contribute what they can afford for their sessions.
To keep costs down their receptionists are all volunteers and they are looking for more volunteers to fill up the weekly shift slots.
Our receptionists will answer the telephone and send out registration forms and explain about how Listening Post works to people looking to start counselling. Listening Post is not an emergency counselling service, but very occasionally people in need of immediate help will ring. You will be given full training and support to handle those very rare phone calls and during the day there is always other staff around in the office. At the start of the shift and particularly if you fill a morning slot you will need to go through the answerphone and call people back who have requested registration forms or more detail.
Between phone calls there can be quiet times, especially on the evening shifts. Some of our volunteers do a bit of data inputting for us, or undertake other admin tasks like photocopying, but we are equally as happy if you’d just like to read a book or do some studying. During the evening shifts there will be no other office staff available, but you will not be alone in the building as the counsellor will also be on shift. You will also have an emergency mobile number for the office staff should you need it.
We like our volunteers to do the same weekly shift as this helps with our rotas and cover, but of course we understand that you will want to take a holiday away from time to time. At the moment Listening Post Cheltenham is looking to fill the following shifts:
• Wednesdays 7pm – 9pm
• Thursdays 12noon – 9pm. This could be split into two or three shifts as suited the volunteers
Hesters Way Community Resource Centre is a short walk from the 94 and 94U bus route stop, from Cheltenham and Gloucester, alighting at GCHQ and is also on the bus A and F routes from Cheltenham town centre. There is also some free parking available at the centre, as well as a cheap (80p for up to four hours) pay and display car park a few minutes walk away.
Why get involved?
This is a great volunteering opportunity if you are looking to build up confidence or admin skills for a return to work. As you would expect it is a very nurturing and well supported environment. University and college students looking for a career in community services may find it a good volunteering opportunity to see first-hand how such organisations work. If you take the quieter evening slot it can also be a good space to get studying and work done whist volunteering.
How to get involved?
- Sign into your account or sign up to Volunteer Makers.
- Accept the challenge
- Await a response from Listening Post with more information
- Customer Service
- Working independently
- Working with Databases
- Community Work
- Computers and Technology
- Visitor Service/ Front of House