Listen up, Hertfordshire helpline needs support for a vital service

Volunteers are needed to field helpline calls

Volunteers are needed to field helpline calls - Credit: Archant

Royston Volunteer Centre manager Denise Graham’s regular look at the voluntary sector in North East Herts

It’s time to lend a listening ear as we focus on an essential service which urgently needs volunteers to help them during the day – from their own phone!

The Hertfordshire Domestic Abuse Helpline operates from 10am to 10pm weekdays and aims to offer callers affected by domestic violence and abuse a supportive response, detailed referral information and access to a range of support agencies relevant to each individual’s particular situation.

They field on average 200 calls a month, the majority from victims or survivors of domestic violence, but they also provide a service for perpetrators, friends and family members, and for professional agencies needing information and contact details.

It is not a counselling line, although empathic listening does play a large part in taking calls. An information manual and training aimed at specific helpline issues is provided for volunteers.

The line can be picked up on any landline or mobile number so volunteers can take calls while at home, work or wherever is suitable, taking confident-iality issues into account.

Volunteers offer a minimum of two to three hours a week on the line, attend a full day’s initial training and support meetings every eight weeks which focus on continuing training and agency services.

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They also offer an opportunity to talk through any issues or difficult calls that arise, meet other team members, be updated on current information and raise general awareness around domestic violence issues.

Want to find out more? Just contact us and we will put you in touch for an informal chat. You can find the centre Royston & District Volunteer Centre in the Royston Town Hall Annexe, Melbourn Street, Royston, SG8 7DA Phone 01763 243020, email or visit the website at

If you need to call the helpline, the number is 08 088 088 088 and calls are free from landlines and some mobiles. You can also email