Caring responsibilities can leave people feeling isolated, anxious or just in need of someone to talk to. As a Listening Support Volunteer, you’ll offer unpaid carers the opportunity to share what’s going on in their lives and provide them with much-needed emotional support over the phone.
About the role
I enjoy creating a space and giving quality time to carers, who are often unrecognised on many levels”
Janet, Listening Support Volunteer
The Listening Support Service is here to listen to unpaid carers, offering a weekly call over a period of four weeks. Our fantastic team of volunteers provide a non-judgemental, empathetic space for carers, where they can share the highs and lows of their caring experience, or whatever is on their mind. The service does not provide advice or guidance, but our volunteers can offer signposts to other useful services when needed. Find out more about the service and how it works.
Please note that although we do not offer counselling or specific mental health or crisis support, we do sometimes speak to people who are in distress. If you volunteer with us, full training around supporting people in distress and any safeguarding concerns that may arise is provided.
I’ve learnt so much, so many new skills – the training is excellent. I’m learning what it really means to listen and support in a non-judgemental, empathetic way. I’ve also learnt humility from the beautiful resilience and vulnerability from the carers I speak to. It is truly inspiring.”
Zahra, Listening Support Volunteer
- You’ll make a real difference to carers who may be going through a difficult time, giving them the opportunity to share what’s going on for them and connect with someone who understands.
- You’ll be part of a supportive team of like-minded volunteers and staff who are committed to providing quality support to improve the lives of carers.
- You’ll learn valuable skills, including active listening, IT experience and communication skills, which could benefit you in future voluntary roles or employment.
- You will receive full training from our team to ensure you feel confident and ready to take on this role.
- You’ll gain experience volunteering for a national charity and learn more about the amazing work that unpaid carers do.
- You will need to be over 18 and live in the UK (this role is remote-based and we accept volunteers from anywhere in the UK).
- We ask that you are able to commit to a fixed shift, for 2-3 hours a week between Monday and Thursday, 10am-4pm.
- We require a minimum commitment of six months volunteering from completion of the training.
- You will require a reliable and strong internet connection and access to a computer or tablet to attend the training and carry out the calls.
- You will ideally have some prior experience or knowledge of being an unpaid carer.
- You will have a passion for supporting others. Some previous experience of providing direct support to others would also be helpful.
What we’re looking for in our volunteers
- excellent communication skills
- a friendly and considerate personality
- an understanding of confidentiality and working within boundaries (you’ll receive training to help you)
- basic IT confidence
- a non-judgmental and empathetic approach.
Volunteering with Carers UK gives me the opportunity to give something back to the community who supports my family as unpaid carers, gives me the opportunity to learn life skills and to feel part of a caring team.”
Listening Support Service volunteer
Successful applicants will be required to attend four virtual training sessions (approx. three hours each) as well as complete reading and tasks independently in order to equip them for the role.
We will offer you regular opportunities for one-to-one check ins with our team, as well as group feedback sessions with other Listening Support Volunteers to share learning and meet other volunteers.
Debriefs and additional support will be offered as and when required as well as additional training.
You’ll receive monthly e-newsletters with the latest volunteering news and you’ll have the option to join our volunteer Facebook group if you would like to. This group provides a fantastic way for volunteers to connect with each other and share and hear volunteering news and achievements.
We also offer regular online volunteer meetups with other volunteers from Carers UK.
How to apply
If you would like to apply for this role and are based in England, Northern Ireland and Scotland, please complete our online application form using the button below. If you are based in Wales and are interested in volunteering as a Listening Support Volunteer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request an application form.
Please note we are not actively recruiting for this role at the moment. If you would like to be notified when this role reopens, please email email@example.com
We will be in touch within seven working days to discuss your application. All volunteers must be over 18 years old. Suitable applicants will be invited to an informal interview and DBS checks and reference checks will be conducted for all successful applicants. Carers UK offers equal opportunities to everyone who wants to volunteer.
If you have any further questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
About our funders
The Listening Support Service is supported by Marie-Louise von Motesiczky Charitable Trust and, in Wales, by the Welsh Government.
Marie-Louise von Motesiczky Charitable Trust is named after the acclaimed artist Marie-Louise von Motesiczky (1906-96), who cared for her mother in later life and produced several portraits of her.
The Listening Support Service in Wales is funded by the Welsh Government through the Sustainable Social Services Third Sector Grant.