We have developed brand new training for all new Bliss helpline volunteers to help them provide the best possible support and information to families of babies born premature or sick over the phone and via email.
Lorna Logan, Senior Volunteer Training Officer at Bliss, tells us a bit more about the new training:
The Bliss helpline offers a listening ear, emotional support and practical information for families with a baby in neonatal care. We support families to feel more confident about caring for their babies and accessing support and information from specialist organisations. It’s free, confidential and is open to parents, and family members, of babies born premature or sick.
We also provide support via email, which some people find much more practical and also sometimes easier emotionally, too.
We are really excited to have launched our brand new learning programme for helpline volunteers, as this will ensure they are receiving the best possible training to enable them to provide vital emotional support to parents and families over the phone.
It’s a full learning programme which includes self-guided learning at home, practise calls and a two day workshop.
As well as getting to grips with the practicalities of the role, applicants will gain a good understanding of the emotions and behaviours parents and families experience when their baby is in neonatal care. Volunteers will learn how to really hone their active listening and exploring skills, to provide person-centred, empathetic and inclusive support over the phone.
Lorna at a recent training session
The workshops will take place in small groups, are very relaxed and include a variety of pair and group activities to explore the theory and practice of our approach to providing support. Don’t tell anyone, but they are also really good fun.
Here’s what some of our previous attendees have said about it:
"A very lively and engaging course which went over all the theory and some of the practice required for the helpline volunteer role. Meeting and getting to know other volunteers was especially helpful."
"The course was very informative for what is ahead as a helpline volunteer. Lorna was clear in the training of the expectations of the role, outlined possible difficulties and the support network available."
"The training was excellent, Lorna was fantastic and made me feel very welcome and welcomed any questions, experiences and discussions. I feel very privileged to become part of this volunteer group for Bliss and feel ready for the role."
"The whole course was really well organised and well put together."
You definitely can. You do not have to have had a premature or sick baby, and you don’t need to be a parent, either. The most important things we look for are the right attitude and skills to be able to deliver outstanding support.
We currently have 15 trained volunteers providing support through our helpline, and we are hoping to double this number. This will ensure we can continue to provide the best possible service for parents and families, and continue to provide some out of hours support.
It’s really easy – please call us on 020 7378 5744 or email firstname.lastname@example.org