Ethical Questions

Frequently asked questions from our volunteers


Can I offer ongoing sessions to service users and can therapists choose to book me again?

Help hub volunteers are offering emotional support, not a continuing therapeutic relationship. It is therefore not possible to book repeat appointments with the same therapist. This is why we ask you to delete all contact details after calls.

Is it possible to book a double slot

No, we discourage this, to be fair to all users.

Can you offer supervision if I do not have my own in place?

Help Hub is not offering supervision to volunteer therapists, who are required to have their own supervision in place.

The Help Hub has been set up to support anyone over 18 years

With no contracting could the client be sent a brief set of guidelines prior to their call?

We are not offering Psychotherapy and have been careful to promote the service as “online emotional support” and so do not expect a contract to be formed.

How do I contact someone to let them know I can no longer fulfil an appointment?

If you are ill and no longer able to fulfil an appointment, please email your client and ask them to re-book, explaining why you have had to cancel.

Can you advise on risk assessment?

Volunteer therapists need to be clear about their role in risk assessment. They cannot do a thorough risk assessment in a 20 min phone call but need to use their clinical experience to determine when a client is clearly indicating a significant degree of risk that they might cause harm to themselves or to others.

If concerned, ask for the client's GP's name and contact details so that the GP can be alerted if the volunteer does judge that there is a significant degree of such risk and needs to keep a record of their concerns and that they have passed those concerns on.

My client is in crisis, what shall I do?

HelpHub is offering a support but not a crisis service and if upon assessment a crisis response is more appropriate, clients should be directed towards the Samaritans.
You are not expected to call emergency services, except if the client

has already told you their address, location or phone number, and either

• become incoherent or unconscious during the call

• told you that they’ve harmed themselves in away that puts them in danger

Data Protection

During your volunteering you will come across personal and sensitive information about individuals as part of the support you will offer. We want to make sure that all information stays safe and confidential in line with the Data Protection Act 1998 and GDPR Regulations 2018. . You will support a diverse range of individuals in diverse communities and we ask that you respect every individual’s beliefs and that nobody is treated less favourably or excluded in anyway.

We want you to treat other people’s personal information in the same way you would want yours to be treated. If you do acquire information about an individual you may be supporting (for example, names, addresses and possible medical information), we ask that you maintain confidentiality and do not discuss or disclose any data or information with anyone outside of HelpHub clinicians or with anyone who doesn’t need to know


  • Leave any messages on answerphones with any personal information if you are not sure who is going to be able to hear them.

  • Ensure others cannot hear you and avoid calls on loudspeaker if you live with others.


You may come across vulnerable adults or adults at risk of harm and they should never experience abuse of any kind. We want you to be alert to any signs or patterns of abuse or anything that may concern you.

If anyone tells you of any type of abuse then remain calm, listen and reassure them that it will be taken seriously. Don’t promise confidentiality as you will need to speak to a limited number of people once you have this information.

If there are any imminent safeguarding concerns with regards to children it would be useful to establish the location of the caller and the local MASH team could be contacted. Failing this, try to contact their GP.

With-holding your phone number

We recommend that you call the isolating person from a withheld number. To withhold your number on individual calls just dial 141 before the telephone number you want to call.

Signposting: The NHS have a comprehensive list of National Services here which may prove useful: health-helplines/

If you have any further questions, please contact:

We will continue to update this page as our work progresses.

Last updated 29/04/20