A Day in the Life of the Live Fear Free Helpline Manager

The Helpline workers will always say that no two days are ever the same and that is also true for the Helpline manager. You think that you’ve got your day planned and then it takes one telephone call or email request to get you re-writing your “To Do List”.

Today is no exception. I start my day at the BBC Radio Cymru studios in Bangor at 7am being interviewed about the statistical reports released by the Wales Police Forces, regarding the number of domestic abuse cases reported this year. This is a request that came in late yesterday afternoon but it’s important to conduct as many of these interviews as possible to promote the work of Welsh Women’s Aid and the Live Fear Free Helpline.

Then it’s back to the office to catch up with the Team. I spend the first 15 minutes of everyday catching up with the staff on shift and checking what issues have come in overnight.

After a quick check of my emails, I add more tasks to my To Do List. I can’t complete them straight away as I have a meeting at 10am with the manager of Stepping Stones. I try to meet with our partners around once a quarter.

At 11.30am I receive a call from the BBC Cymru in Cardiff asking if I’m available to conduct an interview over the telephone for an afternoon magazine programme called “Dros Ginio”. They felt that the slot on the news this morning had more potential. I agree to this and will be called back later.

Next on the list is conducting Support & Supervision with one of the Team Leaders, this will take approximately an hour. We discuss her well-being, staffing issues, our volunteers, training and our interviews tomorrow for a new member of staff. There is also a new(ish) member of staff on shift today, so I must ensure that she’s supported.

Now back to the radio interview. I receive my call from the BBC Cymru and I’m on air with an Officer from North Wales Police. We both discuss the stats released today and what more can be done for survivors. I was given the opportunity at the end of the call to promote the Helpline-a great bonus.

After a quick lunch I head across the road to Y Bont, an organisation that supports vulnerable families. I’ve been asked to represent the Helpline on their Steering Group-they acknowledge that domestic abuse is a big factor in the work they do.

I arrive back at my desk mid-afternoon to proofread a response to an email inquiry that was received in my absence. All emails are responded to within 24 hours.

My last task of the day is to ensure that I’m prepared for the interviews tomorrow, best not to leave things until the morning. I double check that we’ve got a room booked and that all paperwork is in place. I also check that the volunteer assisting us knows exactly what’s required of her.

My job is “full on” in that I never finish my work, but it’s so rewarding. Feedback given about the Helpline is fantastic and I feel proud to play a small part in it. Being a manager with responsibility for staff is always time consuming, especially in the sector that we work in, but listening to the way they deal with vulnerable people and professionals makes me very proud. Well-being is high on my list of priorities and my door is always open for anyone to come and share their problems.

Even though I now pack up for the day this may not be the last interaction I have with the Helpline as I’m On Call overnight providing support to the overnight worker.

Tomorrow is another day to tackle that List…