Our volunteer network is made up of women around the UK who have suffered hyperemesis gravidarum, or severe pregnancy sickness themselves. To volunteer for us they will have been through an application process which includes a telephone interview and professional references as well as online training. When a women who is suffering now contact the charity their needs are discussed with out volunteer co-ordinator and information about coping strategies and treatments are given for women who have not been able to look through our website. After that if the sufferer would like support from a volunteer then our volunteer co-ordinator registers them with the charity and looks to find them a volunteer who will support them via text, email, phone or sometime face to face throughout their pregnancy while symptoms persist. We aim for our volunteers to be geographically close but this isn't always possible.
The Nature of Support Work – What you can expect from us?
- Confidential – safe
- Regular contact reducing isolation and fear of this debilitating illness. The level of support will be determined by you in conjunction with your volunteer support worker
- Support can be provided via telephone/text and email or you can arrange to meet your support worker face to face.
- If you are unable to build a trusting relationship with your support worker, we will do our utmost to offer you another volunteer support worker.
Model of Support – Our model of support is based around the principles of empowerment
- To listen and believe - and give you space to tell your own story
- To treat you as an equal and with respect
- Not to make decisions for you although we may help you to work out what your options are
- To give you information where it is appropriate regarding coping strategies, treatments, employment, childcare, planning for future pregnancies but NOT advice
- To encourage you to take control over whatever aspects of your life you can
- To give you space where you are accepted and where you feel you have a right to be
- To focus on you as an individual woman
Our volunteer co-ordinator works between Monday and Friday, during office hours, although occasional exceptions can be made if evening calls are necessary. Volunteer support is more flexible. We aim to return initial calls either the same day or next (excluding weekends) although as our resources are limited it can occasionally take longer. Once a volunteer is found you will have their support within 48 hours.
If you are currently suffering and would like to be matched with a volunteer for one-to-one peer support, please call our helpline on 024 7638 2020 and leave your name and number so that one of us can get back to you. Please take care to say your phone number clearly as we can't call you back if we can't hear it.
If you would like to apply to volunteer as a peer supporter, please click here for more information.
To download the information from this page for someone you know who is suffering click here for a printable information leaflet.