We’re looking for more good listeners to answer calls on the CADAS Addiction Helpline and also to help set up and run new support groups across the county in the New Year. Can you spread the word for us?

The Helpline, set up for the first time when the pandemic hit, is often the crucial first port of call for anyone in the county struggling with substance use — be it their own or someone else’s – but it needs a few more compassionate, capable, non-judgemental people to take a regular turn handling the calls.

“Shifts are currently Monday to Friday, morning or afternoon, for three and a half hours,” says Lois Sparling, Volunteer Co-ordinator. “We’d especially welcome volunteers who can come into one of our centres in Barrow, Carlisle, Kendal or Workington and work alongside the team.”

Volunteers need to complete an online training course on Understanding and Working with Addictive Behaviours (UWAB). This involves about three hours of their time each week for seven weeks, starting early in the new year. An additional face-to-face training day is planned (available in either Barrow or Carlisle), pandemic permitting. (Photo shows volunteers in training in our Carlisle centre.)

CADAS is also keen to find volunteers to help run support groups across the county, especially for vulnerable young people. These volunteers also need to do the UWAB training.

No experience or qualifications are required for either role – just a compassionate, curious nature, a desire to help and time to offer.

If you’d like further details of either of these volunteering opportunities, and to apply for the UWAB training course which starts in January (interviewing from the end of this month), please contact CADAS as soon as possible. Email Lois Sparling at LoisS@cadas.co.uk or call her on 07714 773289 (9.30am-5.30pm, Mon-Fri).


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