We are currently looking for volunteers to start training with us from 6th April. For this cohort, you would need to be able to attend four in-person training sessions (all taking place on weekend days) at our central Bristol office and be able to volunteer from the same office space on three out of four evenings each month (you can choose if Mondays or Tuesdays suit you better). Later in 2024 we will be looking to expand our services so that we can train and have people volunteering remotely. 

Our fantastic team of Support Service Volunteers provide valuable, non-judgmental support to people who are, or have been affected by self-harm. This support is currently given via either helpline or text, but later on this year we are planning to expand the service so that we can also provide support through email, letter-writing and webchat. These services have been closed from December 2022 until February 2024, and we are proud and excited to now be in the position where our Listening Services are gradually expanding, and becoming increasingly accessible, available and sustainable. Our volunteers are the backbone of the Support Service, and they make a meaningful difference to the people who contact us.

Please register your interest here and we’ll be in contact to arrange an informal chat. 

“You help me more than you think, thank you for being here.”
 - Person who accesses our services

Why volunteer?

  • Help us break the stigma around self-harm by creating a warm, safe, judgement-free environment where people are encouraged to speak openly. 
  • Provide a positive experience to those reaching out for support, recognizing that there is power in seeking help.
  • Be part of a rewarding service offering meaningful support to people of all ages across the UK affected by self-injury. 
  • Participate in initial and ongoing mental health skills training delivered by staff with a wealth of expertise in self-injury and related issues. 
  • Develop valuable and transferable skills in active listening and emotional support that can further careers in social work, support work, counselling and psychology. 
  • Meet supportive, like-minded peers on shift and at volunteer days. 
  • Receive regular confidential supervision sessions as part of volunteering with us, ensuring that you're always supported in the work you're doing.

"I’ve been here for over 3 years now and I have no intention of leaving. It is a truly rewarding and worthwhile place to
- Volunteer 


What we do 

  • Use an empathetic, person-centered approach to provide a safe space for people to talk about anything they're going through.  
  • Respect an individual's relationship with self-injury and avoid being prescriptive in our support. 
  • Offer non-judgmental support to people affected by self-harm, trauma and abuse. 
  • Offer a positive experience of reaching out for help.
  • Embrace reflective listening practices, ensuring service users are heard and validated.  

Who should volunteer? 
We are looking for people to help us uphold a safe, non-judgemental space for anyone affected by self-harm. We are delighted to be broadening our services to all genders for the first time, and so are seeking volunteers of all genders to join us in welcoming everyone into this space. If women-only spaces are important to you and you're interested in working in a women-only environment, we will be continuing to maintain these on Thursday evenings, but on Mondays we welcome everyone of all genders to volunteer with us.

We welcome volunteers of all backgrounds and life experiences.

You may have your own experiences of self-injury, mental ill health or using support services, or be keen to learn more about how to support others through these experiences.  

You don’t need previous helpline or counselling experience; we provide all the training you’ll need to feel confident on the Listening Services! 

We ask all our volunteers to commit to volunteering on the service 3 nights in a month. To allow for a sustainable and consistent service, we hope that volunteers will be able to stay with us for at least 6 months. Our office is based in Central Bristol, so ideally, you’ll live locally or be able to travel in easily. Access and timelines can be discussed when we meet for a chat. 

Not local or looking to work from home?

We're planning to set up a remote, home-based volunteering service in 2024, so please do apply and we'll be in touch when this is being established. 


Where are you based?

Our services are currently run from our office in central Bristol, so you’ll need to be able to access us there to join our next training cohort in late Spring (times approx.) Unfortunately, our current office is not wheelchair accessible, but please don’t hesitate to contact us if this would impact you and we can explore what other opportunities we have within the organisation. 

Do you have any remote volunteering opportunities?

As part of the work we are doing behind the scenes on our services, we are going to have remote volunteering opportunities available soon. Please register your interest using the form and we’ll be in touch when we are preparing to start remote training.

When will I be volunteering?

Our shifts will initially run from 6.30pm-10pm on Monday and Thursday evenings. We ask you to come to one of these evenings each week, and every fourth week have a break from volunteering. We will likely expand to offer other days and times over the course of 2024, so please get in touch even if you’re not available on Mondays and Thursdays.

What do your training days look like?

For our next group of volunteers, the training dates are Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th, Saturday 13th and Saturday 20th April. As well as this, you would be able to choose two evenings in April (either Mondays or Thursdays) when the helpline is usually open, to come in and shadow one of our experienced listening service volunteers. This will give you a good insight into what the calls or text conversations can look like so that you are fully prepared for when you start answering them yourself.

The training is trauma-informed and covers reflective listening, supporting people who self-injure, boundary and containment theories, supporting people who are suicidal, and how we can look after ourselves in the work.

I’ve used your support services before, can I apply to become a volunteer?

Absolutely. We welcome all experiences in our team and many of our volunteer and staff team have their own experiences of self injury or distress. We want all our volunteers to feel in a place where they’re emotionally safe and able to offer support to others; if you’d like to talk this through and explore whether this is the right role for you, please get in touch with our staff team and we’ll be happy to speak to you about it.

What kind of support do you offer your volunteers?

The wellbeing of all our staff and volunteers is something we work hard to promote. During your shifts, you’ll be supported by an on-shift coordinator as well as your fellow volunteers. You’ll also have access to regular personal supervision sessions with an experienced SIS member, as well as group supervision and reflective practice with your team.

I have a different question about volunteering

If you can’t find what you’re looking for here, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team by emailing [email protected] or calling our office 0117 927 9600.