Monday, 3 June 2019

Volunteering on our Helpline #VolunteersWeek

To celebrate National Volunteers’ Week, we’re speaking to volunteers from across the organization hearing about what it’s like to be a volunteer. Kayleigh tells us about what it’s like to be a volunteer on our Helpline, supporting those who are affected by missing.

Why did you decide to volunteer for Missing People?
I decided to volunteer for Missing People as I knew another volunteer at the time who recommended it to me. I had previously heard about the great work the charity was doing and felt my training (as a qualified psychiatric nurse) could be useful in supporting people during incredibly challenging times in their lives.

What training did you have for the role and how did you find it?

The induction process and training were fantastic. The team really supported the volunteers to ensure we felt comfortable and prepared going into that first shift. I found the training sessions on how to listen effectively to be particularly interesting and have been able to use that training to become a better listener not only in my volunteering but also in my role as a nurse.

What have you learnt in your time as a volunteer so far?

I had no idea before I started just how large an issue ‘missing’ really is. It’s incredibly moving to speak to family members and loved ones about their experience. There have been several calls I have taken where people have lost their loved ones and their strength and resilience is remarkable. It reminds you of the importance the work Missing People do and the support and reassurance it can offer to people when they need it the most.

How do you balance volunteering with your other commitments?

I usually come for an evening shift one day after work during the week. It is only 4 hours and I am glad to be able to help. I’m lucky to live pretty close to the office too so it is only a short cycle home.

As you volunteer on our Helpline supporting people who are affected by missing, what do you do to unwind after you’ve finished a volunteering shift?

I am usually pretty tired after a work day and then a shift and so it’s usually straight to bed, sometimes I’ll go wild with a decaf coffee and a book.

Any particular highlights in your time as a volunteer so far?

A huge highlight is the rest of the team, the supervisors and other volunteers. Everyone is genuinely lovely and supportive and I look forward to coming into a shift.

A particular highlight from my role - a woman called to advise us that she was no longer missing and had recently got back in contact with her family. She had been missing for a long time and it was really heart-warming. We did a 3 way call to the Police and she seemed really happy with the outcome. We all want there to be a happy ending so it’s particularly lovely when there is.

If you’re interested in volunteering for us on our Helpline or 121 Chat Service, recruitment will open in late July. Please visit our website to find out more details or contact us here.

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Someone is reported missing every 90 seconds in the UK. The Missing Blog aims to give a voice to all those affected by this issue.

Written by families and friends of missing people, supporters working to raise awareness of the cause, and volunteers and staff at the charity Missing People, we hope that this blog will offer a window into the issue of missing.

The charity Missing People is a lifeline when someone disappears. To find out more about Missing People and ways that you can support the charity visit

Call or text the charity Missing People for free on 116 000, 24/7 if you or anyone you know is affected by a disappearance.