Telephone support - Covid 19

Can you spare 2 hours a week to volunteer with our telephone support service?

Flexible times available throughout the week.


Our telephone helpline is supported by The National Lottery Communities fund and has been set up to establish a point of contact to offer telephone support to people who become socially isolated as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. (This includes the elderly, at-risk groups, vulnerable plus anyone who just wants a chat). The support offered will consist of telephone contact and signposting to other services.

For public safety and reassurance, our volunteer call handlers need to undergo basic vetting which we will organise. All data and information collected will be stored in compliance with current U.K. data protection laws.

The service will initially be for residents of Wallsend (NE28) but we will gradually roll it out into other areas of North Tyneside. It is currently open 7 x days per week (10 am until 2pm) and we will extend the opening times as demand increases.

Calls are charged at local rates – but are free on some call plans. If anyone is in any doubt about the cost of making a call, then they should contact their local phone provider.

We are particularly interested in hearing from any potential volunteers that have a background in supporting people with mental health issues, as well as those with a valid DBS.

We have a shift system each day (8-11 or 11-2) and they can choose which shift they prefer. They also don't have to commit to a set amount of shifts each week we simply ask them to let us know their availability each week and then draw up a rota based on what each volunteer tells us that they can commit to.

About Dreamshine

DreamShine is a Community Interest Company that was set up to help improve people’s life chances and well-being in North East England. Until the Covid-19 outbreak we ran a range of groups and funded activities. Our focus now is helping to ensure that no-one in our local community is left behind and that everyone has someone that they can turn to, during this Global emergency.

What skills do I need?


It is essential that anyone feeling socially isolated or lonely still has a chance to chat about the everyday things in life and have a laugh. We are looking for volunteers with a bubbly personality who love talking but can demonstrate empathy towards anyone who has feelings of anxiety or frustration. It is important that volunteers don’t attempt to rush in with a helpful suggestion that might close down the conversation, when our key priority is letting people talk for as long as they need.

Each call will be scripted, but volunteers must feel comfortable allowing conversation to flow freely and will be required to signpost to other organisations as needed.

This role has been specifically created with the new social distancing measures in mind, and our 0300 number will be diverted to volunteers at home. All volunteers will be required to undergo a basic background check before being approved to take calls which DreamShine will arrange. (There is no charge for this).

This role requires 100% confidentiality as you will be dealing with sensitive data and vulnerable people. This means that under no circumstances are you allowed to discuss any conversations that you have with friends/family or anyone other than your immediate team leader/point of escalation. Any volunteers found to have breached confidentiality will be removed from the helpline. It is important that as an organisation we comply with all current UK data protection laws and we will have robust processes in place to ensure that.

Under no circumstances are you to offer any services to members of the public calling our helpline. (Including doing any shopping etc for them). We are working closely with other organisations who have processes in place and can meet those needs. This role is purely telephone based.

Priority will be given to volunteers who already have the following at home (although these are not essential).

A landline

A printer/scanner

Access to a laptop or PC

Support for our volunteers

We understand that many of our volunteers may not have worked from home or in such challenging conditions. DreamShine will provide the following support:

* Telephone and email support during your volunteering

* Reimbursement for any out of pocket expenses incurred while volunteering

* Access to guidance on safeguarding and lone working

* Training and mentoring

* The opportunity to ‘debrief’ after each shift

DreamShine Covid-19 Telephone Support – Additional Guidance

We want our volunteers to feel supported and safe and get satisfaction out of ‘doing their bit’ to help with the Covid-19 Response.

We ask all volunteers to follow these simple steps to ensure their safety and the safety of others.

Look After Yourself

· You can’t look after others if you don’t look after yourself. Ensure that you follow all government guidance with regard to the outbreak of Covid-19. If you, or any members of your household, have any coronavirus symptoms, please call or email us as soon as possible so that we can offer you any support you might need.

· Remember, that if you do need to go outdoors, to wash your hands thoroughly (for at least 20 seconds) before and after to help minimise any risk of infection.

· Only carry out tasks that have been agreed by DreamShine. It is important that you only provide telephone support as agreed, and that you do not offer any additional support, particularly out in the community. There are other organisations, for example, VODA, who are doing excellent work getting provisions and supplies to those in need. If you are in any doubt, please give us a call.

· Don’t take on too much. Every little helps. If you find that you are no longer able to continue your volunteering that’s fine. Just let us know. You don’t need to be a hero!

· If you need any help - just ask!

Look After Others

· If you have any concerns about someone’s welfare don’t try to handle the situation yourself. Pass on any concerns to DreamShine as soon as you can so we can take the appropriate action.

· If a situation feels risky, it probably is. Call off your volunteering and contact DreamShine straight away.

· Keep people’s personal information and circumstances confidential so as not to compromise their safety. Do not share people’s details with friends and family or on social media.

· Do not offer advice unless you are trained to do so. Sometimes well-meaning advice can lead to negative consequences.

· If someone offers you a gift, please politely decline it informing them that DreamShine has instructed you to do so.

We are particularly interested in hearing from any potential volunteers that have a background in supporting people with mental health issues, as well as those with a valid DBS.

Posted for

Register your Interest

Quick Enquiry


  • Civic Responsibility and Communities
  • Emergency Response
  • Health and Social Care
  • Older People


  • General Helping
  • Supporting People and Befriending


  • Accessibility
  • Age restrictions
  • DBS check required
  • Ongoing support
  • Volunteer induction
  • Written role description

When can I volunteer?

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Morning Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Afternoon Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Evening Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes


This opportunity can be carried out whilst working from home.

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