Listening Friends is a free and confidential helpline staffed by trained volunteer pharmacists who provide a listening ear to fellow pharmacists and pharmacy students struggling with stress, or simply in need of a sympathetic, non-judgemental person to talk to.
The group offers volunteers:
- full and ongoing training in listening skills including two residential weekend training courses per year
- support and supervision offered by experienced coordinators
- all expenses paid and a friendly and supportive network of colleagues.
The Role of the Listening Friend
Listening Friends offers a free listening service to pharmacists suffering from stress. You will be trained to offer support regarding the particular pressures that apply to pharmacy and offer support for all causes of stress such as ill-health, family issues, and bereavement. This may include directing a member to more specialist help if needed.
- to represent Pharmacist Support by providing a friendly voice to callers
- to listen to the concerns of the caller
- to develop and maintain communication with people on complex matters, issues and ideas in what may be complex situations
- to signpost to relevant organisations where appropriate (in consultation with Listening Friend Coordinators / Pharmacist Support office staff where necessary)
- to document anonymous details of the call on the online volunteer call log / call sheet. NB this is to build a picture of key issues facing pharmacists and to steer future volunteer training
- to work within Pharmacist Support guidelines and procesures
- to attend 2 training weekends a year to increase own learning and skills
Skills and experience required
- good communication and interpersonal skills, in particular, listening skills
- empathetic nature
- awareness of own judgments and attitudes and importance of suspending these when talking to a caller
- commitment and willingness to abide by confidentiality, safety and other necessary policies and procedures
- commitment to personal development / training
- minimum of 3 years experience working as a pharmacist
We understand that as pharmacists you are all busy people! We do, however, require a minimum commitment from volunteers to ensure that they keep up to date and receive the appropriate level of support and training.
We ask as a minimum that Listening Friends are available to take at least one call per month. We also require you to attend two residential weekend training courses per year (usually in March and November).