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Idea to increase Chatline availability - Introducing Volunteers

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#1 Posted on:
Thu, 28/09/2017 - 18:12

Mixer

Joined:
2016-12-03

The Chatline facility is a great way for visitors to interact with fellow folk affected by problem gambling. There are currently around 15 hourly sessions of 1 hour duration spread over the week.

Some have said, though - on the Chatline - why the sessions can't last for longer and why there are not more of them. The answer to that, I'm assuming, is down to resourcing. Gamcare must use the precious funds it receives in the most efficient way it can. (There may be other reasons, policy driven, why sessions are set at 1 hour duration.)

Here's an idea to increase the number of sessions. Why not train volunteers to be moderators, along the following lines.

1. Gamcare put out a request for volunteers to moderate. This is an unpaid role, but a small fee in leiu of expenses (say, £5 or £10 per session) would be paid in respect of volunteers, working from home, on their own PCs, and electricity use etc. There would be a contract.

2. Any volunteers would be trained, at Gamcare's expense, with the necessary facilitation skills required for the role. The training would also include Gamcare-centric awareness. This may require a visit to Gamcare HQ for a day's training.

3. Trained volunteers would be able to facilitate forums, under strict supervision intially by trained Gamcare staff. They would log on, as normal, but with moderation assignation.

Volunteers would most certainly not replace existing Gamcare personnel who would still undertake a rota of moderation sessions, but new ones could be added. The additional supervisory experience would be a positive developmental opportunity for Gamcare staff.

It would need to be made very clear to Volunteers that moderating is a very different beast compared to participating! This point will need to be made very clear in Gamcare's invitation. Some have said that a volunteer who has been touched by compulsive gambling might be beneficial in a moderating capacity. This is no reflection on Gamcare moderators who do a fantastic job (I'm personally ever-present on the Chatline and the professionalism and empathy of Gamcare mods is fantastically consistent.)

I repeat, this suggestion isn't about Gamcare acquiring 'cheap labour' at the expense of existing staff. Gamcare staff, especially on the ground, are fully trained and the 'jewels of the crown' of the whole operation. Volunteers are there to add value, and the small expense stipend certainly not seen as income; simply a reasonable token expense gesture.

It would need to be made clear to Gamcare visitors that sometimes Chatline sessions might not be available in case of Volunteer unavailability - Gamcare personnel must never be 'stretched'; this extra availability provided by Gamcare must never stress the operation.

Any decision to increase session lengths, and indeed quantity, is a policy one by Gamcare.

Submitted for your consideration.

Kind regards,

Mixer

 

Posted on:
Thu, 28/09/2017 - 19:06

adam808

Joined:
2017-08-27

I think this is a fantastic idea - I really don't have much to comment because you've answered every point I would have questioned.

Something such as this would be incredibly beneficial for myself - I love the idea of being able to dip in and out of chat sessions rather than have to meet the time scale. 

I've said before some sort of sponsor or buddy system would be incredibly helpful aswell, where certain members who have been gamble free for 60 days plus (for example) are paired up with certain newbies. I understand this presents many problems (especially vulnerability, and personal protection) - however, if they could be overcome it could be life changing for some - even if the service offers a personal one to one chat facility that GamCare would review if such a compliant had arisen for example?

But back to this original suggestion. I fully understand and agree. I hope one day in the future (when I have managed to remain gamble free a long time), that I could give back and volunteer to do something like this.

Posted on:
Fri, 29/09/2017 - 10:22

Forum admin

Joined:
2010-11-01

Thank you very much Mixer and Adam, we'll pass these suggestions on and discuss them. 

Best wishes

Deirdre

Forum Admin

Posted on:
Fri, 29/09/2017 - 16:42

triangle

Joined:
2014-03-14

Some good suggestions mixer.

Many already used by GA so i know they can work