Support parents

Find out about how you can support parents of babies born premature or sick through our two main volunteering roles - Bliss Champions and Bliss Helpline volunteers.

Bliss has two volunteering roles which provide one-to-one support for parents either in a unit as a Bliss Champion or via our helpline as a Bliss Helpline volunteer. Scroll down to find out more.

Baby cuddling: Please note that Bliss does not arrange baby cuddling opportunities on neonatal units. Please do take a look at our other volunteering opportunities below for ways that you can support babies born premature or sick through Bliss. 

Interested? Check out our current Bliss Champion and Bliss Helpline volunteer opportunities.

Bliss Champions

What are Bliss Champions?

Bliss Champions provide a vital link between parents, units and our Bliss services, ensuring families of premature and sick babies can gain access to the information and support services that we provide. 

As an organisation, we aim to ensure that families with a baby on a neonatal unit for more than 24 hours have access to our resources and support. Bliss Champions help us make this possible.

Bliss Champions provide a key link between neonatal units and our family services. Acting as a named point of contact for families on the unit and unit staff, our Champions ensure access to all of our latest information and services. 

This can be everything from making sure units are well stocked with our resources to advertising our services and encouraging parents and staff to get involved with our work. 

Champions also act as a local representative, attending events and raising awareness of the work we do.

Who can be a Bliss Champion?

If you have at least two hours to give a week, the ability to visit local neonatal unit(s), a passion for what we do and the desire to support families, then you can be a Bliss Champion. 

Our Champions don’t necessarily have first-hand experience as a parent of a sick or premature baby, but all of them understand the emotional and practical pressures this can bring and are united in the desire to ensure that families receive support when they need it most.

Our Bliss Champion network

As a Bliss Champion, you will be part of our national network of volunteers and your local staff contact will put you in touch with other volunteers in your area. Although you will become the named contact for the unit(s) you are working with, it is more than likely that there will be a local network of Bliss Family Groups (in England and Wales) and Bliss Buddies (in Scotland) linked with your units. 

We encourage you to work in partnership with them and signpost parents to the Bliss services available to parents locally. 

In addition, we will ensure that your contact details are shared with parents and healthcare professionals in your area if they contact us.

Find out more by reading our interview with a Bliss Champion

Alex Wright is a Bliss volunteer on a neonatal unit. In this interview she tells us more about what she does, and why being a Bliss Champion is so important to her.
Read more

Bliss Helpline Volunteers

What does a helpline volunteer do?

The Bliss helpline is a UK-wide confidential telephone service that offers a listening ear, emotional support and information to families whose baby is in, or has been in, neonatal care. Volunteers are needed for this service to support parents in decision-making for their babies, including providing information, facilitating peer support and signposting.

In addition to providing telephone support, volunteers provide support via email. Personal experience of having a baby in neonatal care is helpful but not essential for the role.

Who can be a Bliss helpline volunteer?

Bliss helpline volunteers require a special combination of skills, qualities and experience including listening skills, and the ability to offer non-judgemental emotional support and information. Volunteers need to ensure they have a quiet space to work, and will not be interrupted for the duration of their shift. Basic computer skills are necessary for this role.

How much time is required?

We ask for a minimum of two hours once a week, and a short time after each session to debrief.   

The Bliss helpline is open between 10am and 12pm Monday to Friday and between 7pm and 9pm Monday to Wednesday evenings. 

What support will I receive?

Volunteers will be allocated shifts and will work from home, as the helpline is transferred to the volunteer’s home or mobile phone.   Volunteers will also need a home computer as they will need to log on to a call handling site. 

A member of the Information and Support team will be contactable at all times during the volunteer’s session to offer support and advice. A debriefing session after each shift is available and strongly encouraged.

Due to the fact that some helpline shifts may not be continually busy, you will also have the opportunity to support parents via email.