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Category: Volunteer

Unlock volunteer shortlisted for helpline volunteer of the year award

We’re delighted that one of Unlock’s long-standing helpline volunteers, Simon, was shortlisted for the Helpline Partnership’s ‘Helpline Volunteer of the Year’ award.

On hearing the news, Simon said:

“I’m delighted to have been shortlisted for the Helpline Partnership ‘Volunteer of the year’ award. As much as this is recognition that the work I do for Unlock is truly appreciated, what I have given to Unlock is a moot point in comparison to what they have done for me.”

Commenting on the news, Debbie Sadler, Unlock’s advice manager and lead for our volunteer programme, said:

“Simon has volunteered for Unlock as a helpline advisor for over 5 years. His background in education makes him ideally placed to provide high-quality information, advice and support delivered in such a way that callers find it easy to understand and utilise.

“Back in 2014 Simon joined us for 2 days per week but, such is his commitment and passion for the charity that during a particularly busy period recently, he not only manned our helpline but helped us redecorate and move office. This commitment is even more extraordinary because for many years Simon has suffered from an anxiety disorder which means that it’s frequently a struggle for him to leave his own home.

“I can’t thank Simon enough for everything he has done and continues to do for Unlock and him being shortlisted for volunteer of the year goes to show how he’ll continue to be one in a million to us”

We’d like to congratulate the eventual winner of the award, Deborah Gascoyne from Myeloma UK.

At the same event, Unlock came away with a ‘Star member’ award, in recognition of Unlock “going the extra mile to help others”, saying that we were “a shining example of what it means to be a Helpline Partnership member.”

More information

  1. You can find out more about our volunteer programme.
  2. The winners of the Helpline Awards are on the Helplines Partnership website.

A huge thank you to all our volunteers

At the beginning of June we took the opportunity to say a huge “thank you” to all our wonderful volunteers by holding an afternoon tea-party.


The helpline team taking time out to celebrate volunteers week



Our volunteers are worth their weight in gold. They share their time and talent without any reward, so it was important to us to acknowledge their contributions and let them know they’re valued.

Our volunteer programme started in 2009 and enables us to give people with convictions the opportunity to gain new skills and confidence which they can hopefully use as a stepping-stone into education or employment.

Last year (2016/17) we supported 12 people as volunteers (10 office and 2 non-office based) but we’re always looking for more people to get involved.

If you’re interested in volunteering for us, please take a look at our current vacancies.

Volunteer’s Week is almost here

It’s Volunteer’s Week from the 1st to 7th June and, like many organisations across the country, we’ll be holding celebrations to say thank you to our volunteers, recognising the important contribution they make.

During 2016/17 our 6 office-based volunteers provided over 3000 hours of help and support to individuals who contacted our helpline. They not only provided a wide range of information and advice but, on many occasions listened to people getting things off their chest and talking about what might have been a very distressing experience.

Our volunteers perform a range of tasks but essentially they:


  • Bring a range of qualities, skills and expertise which we don’t always get from the staff in our team – for example specialist language skills and cultural understanding
  • Help us to engage with some hard to reach individuals by using their own personal experiences
  • Enrich our organisation by bringing diversity
  • Can turn into a member of our staff!

In return, we provide plenty of opportunities for social inclusion (we’re a really welcoming bunch), skills development and potential routes into employment.

So, if you’ve been thinking about volunteering, what better time than now to take the plunge?

Find out more about the roles we have available by taking a look at our ‘Get Involved‘ page.

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