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Lend an ear to help our Helpline

Volunteers in training in the Carlisle centre Photo: JENNY WOOLGAR PHOTOGRAPHY

More good listeners are needed to help run the CADAS Addiction Helpline and also to help facilitate new support groups across the county in the New Year.

The Helpline, set up for the first time when the pandemic hit, is often the crucial first port of call for anyone in the county struggling with substance use — be it their own or someone else’s – but it needs a few more compassionate, capable, non-judgemental people to take a regular turn handling the calls.

“Shifts are currently Monday to Friday, morning or afternoon, for three and a half hours,” says Lois Sparling, Volunteer Co-ordinator. “We’d especially welcome volunteers who can come into one of our centres in Barrow, Carlisle, Kendal or Workington and work alongside the team. But it is possible to set them up to work from home if they’ve got a quiet, confidential space with a computer and reliable internet access.”

Would-be volunteers who are successful at interview will be expected to complete an online training course on Understanding and Working with Addictive Behaviours (UWAB). This will require about three hours of their time each week for seven weeks, starting early in the new year. An additional face-to-face training day is planned (available in either Barrow or Carlisle), pandemic permitting.

CADAS is also keen to find volunteers to help run support groups across the county, especially for vulnerable young people. These volunteers will likewise need to complete the UWAB training.

If you’d like further details of either of these volunteering opportunities, contact CADAS as soon as possible. Please email Lois Sparling at LoisS@cadas.co.uk or call her on 07714 773289 (9.30am-5.30pm, Mon-Fri).

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