Richmond Fellowship, the national mental health charity part of Recovery Focus, is calling upon people from all backgrounds to volunteer and support people living with mental health problems as part of volunteers’ week.
We operate a community based life links service from our office in Leicester as well as a pioneering crisis house and helpline in Ratby.
Emma Fitzmaurice, volunteer coordinator for Richmond Fellowship in Leicester, said:
“We’re appealing for volunteers to help operate our helpline that is vital for people experiencing a mental health crisis.
“We need people with empathy and emotional resilience to provide reassurance and an open ear to people experiencing a crisis to support them with their mental health.”
Since opening last year the crisis helpline has gone from 28 calls a month to over 900 as more people have learned about the service leading to an increase in opening hours.
The helpline strives to support people experiencing a mental health crisis and ease the burden on A&E services.
A number of volunteers have supported the service alongside their degree studies in fields such as social work, psychology and policing finding the experience beneficial to their studies.
Emma Fitzmaurice added:
“Volunteers don’t need any previous experience as we provide a fantastic training course. You can volunteer as much or as little as you like, we only ask that people are reliable, warm and passionate about supporting people in their time of need.
“We provide a warm and welcoming environment where existing volunteers support one another through training and operating the helpline. Calls can sometimes be emotionally challenging so it’s important to have a tight knit community around to support you as a volunteer.”
We also participate in community outreach programmes as well as events to raise awareness and challenge mental health stigma which volunteers play a key role in supporting.