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Telephone Support Team Member - OrangeLine

Closing date: 31 March 2020


Saint Francis Hospice is an independent charity and one of the largest adult hospices in the UK. Our team of specialist consultants, doctors, nurses and a range of other health and social care professionals provide care and support to individuals with a life-limiting illness, as well as their carers and family members, completely free of charge.

We serve the populations of Havering, Brentwood, Barking & Dagenham, Redbridge and West Essex. This year, we need to raise £7.3 million in voluntary income, so every donation from individuals and organisations is important to us. We also have a team of over 800 skilled and committed volunteers who help us keep our costs down and add huge value to the work we do.

Role description: 

About the role

We are recruiting volunteers with empathy, maturity and great telephone skills for OrangeLine.

OrangeLine is a free service delivered by Saint Francis Hospice for people feeling lonely or isolated, or simple in need of a friendly conversation. It's confidential and managed by specially trained staff and volunteers.

OrangeLine is for local people who are:

  • Receiving SFH support for a life-limiting illness
  • A carer for someone with a life-limiting illness
  • Recently discharged from one of SFH services
  • Recently bereaved
  • Somebody who feels a conversation would prove helpful

OrangeLine is open to people of all ages. You do not need to have a connection with Saint Francis Hospice. You can call for a chat, for information and signposting to local services that may be useful or helpful, to link to other callers via groups and workshops that we facilitate or to connect with others in your community via call chains. the line is open between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. All calls received out of these hours will go through to an answerphone machine. Our phone number is 01708 758649.

To provide emotional support and guidance to local people who are bereaved, lonely and/or distressed. We do not offer advice - we listen and signpost to professional agencies if specialist support is required.

OrangeLine is recruiting volunteers to assist with the department’s telephone support service, enabling it to provide comprehensive support to members of the community that need help.

Main tasks and responsibilities

  • Making and answering telephone calls
  • Providing emotional support and guidance to incoming callers
  • Making regular weekly/monthly telephone calls to local people who have requested ongoing support from OrangeLine
  • Signposting callers to support groups and/or professional agencies where required
  • Accurately recording and updating call logs
  • Helping with support groups and/or friendship groups set up by Orangeline

Experience, skills and attributes needed

This role would suit:

  • someone with experience of working in mental health sector
  • nurses
  • social workers
  • church workers, and
  • professionals in similar fields.

Other requirements

  • Good written and verbal English skills 
  • Good listening skills, 
  • Ability to express empathy, 
  • Confident telephone manner 
  • Ability to be calm amd focussed. 
  • Age requirement: 18+

What this role offers for volunteers

Not only will volunteers have the satisfaction of supporting people in the community who need a friendly voice on the end of the phone, but you will also benefit from a variety of relevant free training, experience of  using customer service, telephone and administrative skills, the opportunity to develop listening skills and, if you are keen and have a little extra time available, the option to get involved with additional roles such as helping with support groups and/or friendship clubs set up by OrangeLine or assisting with data inputting.

A reference can be provided, however, the detail in the reference depends on the length of time given by the volunteer. 

Invitation to annual "Thank you" event

Other information: 

Recruitment process:

  • Application form,
  • Face to face interview,
  • Two references, one of which should be from someone who the volunteer has known in some formal capacity and the other from someone who has known the volunteer on a personal basis for at least 1 year (not a family member),
  • DBS check,
  • Completion of mandatory training topics via manual or eLearning,
  • Department induction/training

Compulsory training: Training is required for this role and it takes 2.5 days to complete online or at the Hospice.

Support and supervision: We offer ongoing, regular support and supervision for volunteers. 

We are looking for team members who are able to volunteer for one half day each week. A 4 hour-shift between Monday and Friday at one of the following times 9am-1pm, 1 - 5pm or 3 - 7pm OR on a Saturday (currently 12.30 - 4.30pm). There is no minimum commitment. The office is on the ground floor, however, there is limited space within the room. So accessibility will depend on any disability. Volunteering takes place at the Saint Francis Hospice RM4 1QH.

Type of activity: 

London Borough of RedbridgeNHS Redbridge Clinical Commissioing GroupLondon CouncilsMayor of LondonEuropean Social FundSkills Funding Agency  Big Lottery