As in several previous years, we'll be offering support over the bicon weekend in the form of counsellors/trained listeners and first aiders. This service can only run if we can get volunteers, so if you have experience in either of these areas, please read on…
I'm Camel and I'm going to be running the Bicon Support Service at BiCon 2007. The service will offer on-call cousellors/skilled listeners and first aiders through Bicon weekend.
To run well, this service needs skilled volunteers.
If you are a qualified counsellor, a part-qualified counsellor with experience, or have done significant amounts of listening skills work in a welfare/mental health environment and this work has involved some training, then I'm looking to hear from you.
(examples included volunteering for MIND/other mental health or LGBTQ support charities, university Nightline service volunteers, phone helpline workers, Community Mental Health Team members, Samaritans, facilitators user-led mental health groups etc)
In addition, qualified first-aiders are required.
The listening service will provide casual(non-appointment-based, call anytime, day or night) on-call listening and support according to the following basic principles as well as others to be agreed by the team once we’re on-site:
Non-judgemental one-to-one listening
We have no political, religious, ethnic, cultural, gender or sexuality-based or moral bias. Beyond the general ethos of bicon, we will listen and respect the views of all users without judgement.
Anonymity for users and workers
We won’t refer to your use of the service outside of the space, eg in bar or workshops. If we don’t know you outside of the service, we won’t greet you in public situations. We ask you to do the same for us. Anonymity is important to volunteers also.
With won’t share anything from your session including your identity/use of the support team to anyone outside the service. (The only exceptions are extreme cases in which the user is of imminent danger to self or others or in the case of a Child Protection issue)
We won’t try to steer you towards any particular course of action or push on viewpoint of your situation. Your situation is yours to decide about.
We do not provide advice, although we will provide local sources of professional advice and further support should you require them.
As a service
- you'll probably speak different members of the team at different times, we can offer a maximum of approximately an hour with a specific member of the team, after which time another member will take over in order that the counselling team are also able to relax and enjoy their bicon. All the team will be working to the same principles, regard us as interchangeable.
- if the on-duty listener is someone you'd prefer not to talk to for personal reasons, another member of the team will be on-call to subsitute and we urge you to make use of this if this will make you feel safer. If you are interested in volunteering, I'd love to hear from you at support@
Please list qualifications, institutions awarding them and give referees as well as describing any informal and relevant experience you have (eg voluntary work) with again, if possible, referees. Official qualifications are good, but less important than a proven record of work and experience in these areas.
I'll contact each of you individually to discuss the service and your suitability to volunteer.
Looking forward to hearing from you and meeting you at Bicon!