The Dublin Lesbian Line is now recruiting new volunteers and they want you to be involved in one of Ireland’s most unique support services.
It’s been 38 years since the Dublin Lesbian Line first opened its doors and they have since given advice and support to countless LGBT+ peeps across generations.
As such it is one of the oldest LGBT+ helplines in the world and has undertaken a research project with the community last year, they are now blazing forward into an exciting era of growth and they would like you to be a part of it.
Here is what the team are looking for:
With us, you will support the people of our community and make a real difference in people’s lives.
All training is provided; educational or employment background do not factor into recruitment. Trainees must complete all training to be considered for the mentoring.
All of our volunteers are female-identified and somewhere along the LGBTQIA+ spectrum.
- Commitment and Reliability: as a small organisation every single person counts in the success of running a support service. Without committed and reliable volunteers we can’t function!
- Empathy and Compassion: we need people who are able to relate to others, even if they do not share their experiences. Our community and the people we support are extremely diverse and our volunteers need to be able to accept and support people from all kinds of circumstances.
- Confidentiality: Volunteers are required to keep confidential the work they do with DLL or the information that is shared with you by callers or other volunteers outside of the helpline environment.
- Enthusiasm to Learn: Providing listening and non-judgemental support can take some learning for everyone. We do a lot of training and mentoring; and all volunteers, even experienced ones are expected to be willing to upskill and train on various topics as required.
- A desire to be part of a female-run female-focused service: While DLL support people from all backgrounds and identities, our main focus is the women* of our community, and we design our supports around this. Note: women* is inclusive of trans women, non-binary and genderqueer people.
- Embracing of and patience for change: we are at an exciting time for DLL and we’d love you to be a part of the team while we grow. However, change can take time and sometimes we encounter glitches; so we need people who can have patience with this as well as a willingness to throw themselves into making our service the best for the women* of our community.
If this doesn’t sound like it’s for you, for example perhaps your skills are more practical, but you would still like to volunteer with DLL we would love to have you on board somewhere where you feel your skills lie – social media and website, fundraising and grant applications, occasional event volunteers, or something you feel we could benefit from that we haven’t thought of yet – just let us know!
Training: 18 hours in-person training and 2-3 hours individual work – completion of this is essential to be considered for the mentoring stage.
Once you complete the training the time commitment is about 7 hours per month, per month plus email correspondence.
- Two shifts per month (2.5 hrs x 2) – Thursdays at the moment, subject to expansion of days, commitment will remain the same.
- One Monthly Meeting (approx 2 hrs) – Second Friday evening of every month, attendance at this is essential.
- One year commitment (minimum) – It takes a lot of resources and dedication from our mentors to train new people and we appreciate that people sign up with the intention of volunteering with us long term.
I have previously engaged with DLL for support, will this negatively affect my application?
Not at all! We exist to support our community and if you have engaged with that support that’s great! If you feel you are in a place to volunteer with us now that’s what we will go from.
I am not from Ireland and am self-conscious about my accent on the phone. Should I still apply to be a volunteer?
Yes, please! We welcome people from any country. We are also introducing online chat support which is typed as well as phone support.
I don’t identify as a lesbian, can I still be a DLL volunteer?
Absolutely. So long as you identify as female and along the LGBTQIA+ spectrum, we welcome you. Our name dates back to 1979 and we know it is not inclusive of our volunteers, who we support or what we do and we are working to update it in the future.
I identify as a trans woman, can I be a volunteer?
I’m worried about taking calls from people who are suicidal, do we get training in this?
Yes, we have specific training on how to support callers who are suicidal, as well as volunteer support. ALL current DLL volunteers are safeTALK certified; you are never alone on a shift and you are always with a volunteer who is more experienced than you – for the first number of months this is your mentor. There is extensive support if you are affected by any topic on a call.
I’m concerned I am too young/old to be a volunteer.
Once you are age 18 and over, we welcome people of all ages to volunteer with us. Every age brings different experiences and viewpoints which can only enhance our service.
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