LGBT Helpline Seeking Volunteers in Cork

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The LGBT Helpline – a national support service for lesbian, gay, bisexual
and transgender (LGBT) people –launched a volunteer recruitment drive this
week. The Helpline is calling on members of the LGBT community in Cork –
and throughout the country – to volunteer to help with running its
service. ****
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The LGBT Helpline (1890 929 539) provides confidential support to LGBT
people, their family and friends, and to people who are questioning if they
might be LGBT. The service is provided by a network of trained volunteers
but, due to high demand and limited numbers of volunteers, it is unable to
answer every call it receives.****
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Commenting on the new volunteer recruitment drive, Dave Roche, who
represents the southern region office of the LGBT Helpline said, said: “The
LGBT Helpline actually received about 10,000 calls last year, but we were
able to answer less than a quarter of those because of limited resources.
In order to enhance our service, we need more volunteers. ****
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“Our existing volunteers from Cork and around the country do excellent work
and – thanks to them – we were able to expand our opening hours during
2012. But, still, we can only open for 23 hours a week. We know the
demand for the support we offer is much higher than what we can currently
meet; that’s why we’re launching this volunteer recruitment campaign. If
we can recruit additional volunteers, then we’ll be able to maintain our
existing service and hopefully expand our opening hours in the future to
better meet the demand for support amongst the LGBT community.” ****
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The LGBT Helpline’s volunteer recruitment drive will run over the next four
weeks and will encompass a nationwide media campaign, as well as a social
media drive (using the hashtag #LGBThelp on Twitter). ****
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Volunteers are required to complete an initial six-week training period,
which will commence in March, and to contribute a minimum of four hours’
service per month. After their initial training, volunteers are based in
one of the LGBT Helpline’s affiliated local helpline centres, which are
located in Dublin, Cork, Mayo and Dundalk. ****
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The identity of volunteers is never revealed, and the helpline safeguards
their privacy at all times. ****
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The LGBT Helpline answered 2,086 calls last year, of which 59 per cent
related to mental health. The next most common types of calls were:****
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**· **Calls from family members and friends of LGBT people (13 per
cent of all calls answered);****
**· **Calls about sexual health and safe sex (11 per cent); and****
· Calls from people in opposite-sex marriages, who were confused or
exploring their sexuality or gender identity (nine per cent).

19/2/13***NO REPRO FEE*** Hannah Hjerpe, Craig Dwyer, Davin Roche, helpline volunteers pictured with Paula Fagan, Coordinator of the Helpline as the LGBT Helpline launches a volunteer recruitment drive email info@lgbt.ie or call 1890 929539 for more information Pic:Marc O'Sullivan

19/2/13***NO REPRO FEE*** Hannah Hjerpe, Craig Dwyer, Davin Roche, helpline volunteers pictured with Paula Fagan, Coordinator of the Helpline as the LGBT Helpline launches a volunteer recruitment drive email info@lgbt.ie or call 1890 929539 for more information Pic:Marc O’Sullivan

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