Seven women complete Women’s Resource Centre hotline training
Seven volunteers have graduated to boost the number of helpers able to monitor a round-the-clock crisis helpline for the Women’s Resource Centre.
They were thanked for their commitment and efforts by Minister Glenn Blakeney at a ceremony earlier this week.
All seven graduates can now assist in responding to calls made to the helpline, which is monitored 24 hours a day every day of the year.
They will be part of a team which provides a vital source of support, comfort and advice to emotionally distressed women; some on the verge of suicide and others who are victims of domestic violence or sexual assault.
The volunteers were honoured at a graduation ceremony along with many of the others who currently make up the team. The volunteers take turns each week monitoring a 24/7 telephone number, diverted to a cell phone, which they are required to respond to no matter what the hour.
“Volunteers commit to take calls for one whole week at a time, between the hours of 6pm and 9am” explained Sherrie Outerbridge, executive assistant and advocacy administrator for the Women’s Resource Centre.
“The volunteers deal with the calls, which can vary from someone contemplating suicide, to needing someone to converse with, or the caller may need help with a specific situation. We also refer clients to other services, as deemed.”
The number of calls to the Centre varies from week to week. Mrs Outerbridge said the current economic downturn has also created another source of struggle for some callers.
She added: “There are times when we do not receive any crisis calls within a week. Sometimes a person will not call until they have been abused 32 times.”
The volunteers undergo extensive training before completing the training, so they have the skills to cope with the calls they receive, as they assist others.
The Women’s Resource Centre’s programme is sponsored by Hiscox Insurance (Bermuda) Ltd. The seven new graduates are Kamla Singh, Khayriyyah Daniels, Chevonne Francis, Tanya Thomas, Robbyn Lee, Malisa Butterfield and Sheryl Simmons Carey.
Words of inspiration in the topic of commitment were delivered by Minister Blakeney when he attended the graduation ceremony to meet the volunteers together with those already on the team and programme facilitators Veronica Outerbridge, Lauren Trott and guests. All those who attended the ceremony were thanked by Women’s Resource Centre Board member Julia Sousa.
The Women’s Resource Centre’s main number is 295-3882; The Crisis Help Line number is 295-7273.