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volunteer

VOLUNTEER

Our volunteers provide a non-judgemental and non-directive listening service which is open to members of the LGBTQIA+ community, as well as their friends, families and those who support them.

Want to give back to the LGBTQIA+ community?

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Can you commit to three hours every two weeks?

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Can you listen with empathy and without judgment?

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Switchboard volunteers provide calm words when they’re needed most via phone, chat and email about anything from sexual health, relationships, mental health, gender and sexuality and much more. All our volunteers identify as LGBTQIA+ and can volunteer from our phone room in London or remotely from anywhere in the UK.

Our volunteers are the life-blood of our organisation. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to support service users from 10am - 10pm every day of the year.

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Phone Us

Open 10:00-22:00 every day

0800 0119 100
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Email Us

We aim to reply within 5 days

[email protected]
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Chat with us

Our volunteers talk about a wide range of topics which include (but are not limited to):

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Coming out

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Gender identities

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Sexual Health

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Faith and religion

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Mental health

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Suicide

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Bereavement

Volunteering at Switchboard is both challenging and rewarding in equal measure.

You could speak with someone who has never voiced their thoughts and feelings before; you could communicate with a service user who has no one else to talk to.

But at the same time, some of the communications we receive are spam, hoax or abusive. Whilst there is support to deal with these types of communication, we want to ensure you know about this before applying to volunteer with us.

One thing that is guaranteed, however, is that when you volunteer with Switchboard, you will be part of a community that supports and uplifts each other.

What roles are available to volunteers?

Email

When volunteering on our email service, volunteers take the time to review the emails we receive, decipher the messages and themes being communicated and spend time crafting a thorough, personalised response. This response is something service users will often keep with them for a long time. We’re looking for people who can read between the lines, write long-form communications and who have a strong attention to detail.

Chat

If you choose to support our chat service, you’ll communicate with users in real-time, via our web chat tool. Chat volunteers are typically people who like to use instant messaging tools in their day-to-day lives, can speak with a number of people at the same time, and who are able to create space for others to share their questions, thoughts and feelings.

Phone & Chat

Our phone and chat role equips volunteers with the skills needed to support both services. It requires people to be able to listen to others, create space for them to speak, ask open questions and remain calm under pressure. It can be a challenge, but if you’re someone who can listen actively without passing judgement or telling people what to do, we’d love to hear from you!

Over 50's Club

Our over 50s club is a new initiative for Switchboard. We want to create a space that enables older members of the LGBTQIA+ community to volunteer with us on our phone lines and instant messaging service, whilst providing a social element that encourages volunteers to come together at our London HQ. This club will meet on Tuesdays during the day, completing a shift either between 10am to 1pm or 2:00pm to 5:00pm.

If you’d like to apply to one of our three volunteer roles, please click on the relevant link above to get started.

We will only consider applications for one role at a time so please do not apply to more than one position.

When applying to one of our roles, applicants will need to:

  • Submit an initial application and answer questions that demonstrate your motivations for joining Switchboard

  • Complete an online test to showcase your skills

  • Attend an in-person or online assessment evening and interview with our volunteers

If you’d like to ask any questions before applying to us, you can do so by emailing our Volunteering Team.