Have you ever used a Helpline? — Scope | Disability forum
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Have you ever used a Helpline?

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Albus_Scope
Albus_Scope Posts: 4,245 Scope online community team
Whether you’ve used one in the past, or you work or volunteer for one, it’s likely almost everyone has come across various helplines and the important work they do.

In 2023 the Helplines Partnership launched Helpline awareness day, in celebration and to bring recognition to all of the life-affirming and sometimes overlooked people that work on helplines, like secret superheroes providing support day (and sometimes night!).

Have you used a helpline? Is there a helpline you’ve found particularly helpful in the past?

Here’s what one of Scope’s very own helpline staff had to say:

"Working on a disability helpline is the most rewarding role I’ve ever done in my career life. When you are able to empower and support someone via a short phone call. And they feedback to you that that conversation has helped them immensely the rewards cannot be described.
You also get the benefit of learning from customers from their experiences. More than you’d ever learn from a course, reading or degree.
Having lived experience of disability doing a role at Scope helps me give back to a cause I am incredibly passionate about." - Louise
Albus (he/him)

Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

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Opinions expressed are solely my own.
Neurodivergent.

Comments

  • Albus_Scope
    Albus_Scope Posts: 4,245 Scope online community team
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    Scope's helpline provides free, independent and impartial advice and support on issues that matter to disabled people and their families.

    The team is made up of 15 hard-working advisers, two team leaders and a benefits specialist and on average each year they manage around 40,000 different contacts.

    Increased demand for helpline services during the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis in the UK have put additional strain on our service. As a result, it is more important than ever to raise awareness about the valuable work that helplines do.

    The helpline team support 100s of customers each day and it is really important that as a service we understand and capture what is impacting disabled people and their families the most so that we can share this with the wider organisation to support the work we do as a charity.

    The main trends we see on the helpline are queries relating to benefits, housing, social care and employment and more recently the cost of living.
    We provide people with information and signposts to services that specialise in those areas to help them reach solutions.

    Where appropriate we guide people on their rights and what they may be entitled to and provide them with the tools and direction they need.
    We seek to empower people to take action themselves where appropriate rather than completing the action for them.
    Albus (he/him)

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.
    Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.
    Opinions expressed are solely my own.
    Neurodivergent.
  • 66Mustang
    66Mustang Community member Posts: 13,679 Disability Gamechanger
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    As someone who can't use the phone I appreciate the value of helplines to others, whether they offer practical or emotional support or anything in between, but would appreciate it if the "industry" was more inclusive. For example if there were more "helplines" that were accessed via some other source such as live chat
  • woodbine
    woodbine Community member Posts: 11,658 Disability Gamechanger
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    In the early days of my epilepsy some 26 years ago I used a helpline and they were truly fantastic, as you might imagine my illness was quite traumatic in the early days and the helpline really did help, I would recommend using a helpline to anyone who needs it.
    2024 The year of the general election...the time for change is coming 💡

  • Biblioklept
    Biblioklept Community member Posts: 4,682 Disability Gamechanger
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    I can't use the phone but have used the odd online helplines which have been really useful to me. Even if I could use the phone I don't think I could ever work on a helpline, people can be the worst sometimes!! I think it must be very thankless job a lot of the time.
    Like 66Mustang I really wish there were more that were accessible and online. Emailing for help isn't the same as a live chat system!
  • Albus_Scope
    Albus_Scope Posts: 4,245 Scope online community team
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    I agree there's often a lack of accessibility with helplines, so online chat and such, but I think that is often due to a lack of funding. 
     And yes, having worked on helplines before, it can be very emotionally draining, but a simple thank you can really make your day. :)  

    I'm very glad they were able to offer you assistance @woodbine, that's great to hear. <3 
    Albus (he/him)

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.
    Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.
    Opinions expressed are solely my own.
    Neurodivergent.
  • Ada
    Ada Scope Member Posts: 14,324 Disability Gamechanger
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    No. Even as a kid on the streets I’ve never been able to ask for help. Ever. 
    Im certain my history -child and adult-would have been better if I had. And I still couldn’t wouldn’t ask for help. 

    I am not great full. For the help they give. And no doubt saved thousands of children and life’s 

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