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Volunteer Voices - Pauline



Pauline Beddoe used to volunteer for Samaritans years ago and more recently Victim Support. She currently volunteers for Jersey Action Against Rape (JAAR).  

‘I’ve been volunteering for JAAR about four years now. I feel very strongly for people in trouble, it’s a feeling that’s inside, empathy for the person on the end of the line.  

‘I’m on the night helpline and take the calls at home. I am always guided by the person on the other end of the phone, I let them run the conversation, I will talk for as long as they want to. At a point where I feel they are ready I will offer the opportunity for them to call in and talk to someone. Or if they are not ready, I ask if they would like me to ring them the next day or simply encourage them to ring back. It’s about listening, connecting, letting them know when they reach out someone is there, someone non-judgemental 

‘Rape victims find it hard to share with family and friends, they feel they will be judged. Soap storylines have certainly encouraged people to be more open, even if their trauma occurred years ago - there is no time limit to discussing sexual trauma, whenever it happened we are here to help.   

‘Nothing surprises me, nothing shocks me, it is essential that victims feel they can open up and talk about issues that have affected them. We don’t get shocked, whatever they say to us. Every single conversation is different. It is not unusual for a caller to hang up without saying anything, but if they’ve made that first step to contacting us, they will eventually when they are ready. 

‘JAAR is always looking for volunteers to help out at fund raisers, however volunteering for the JAAR helplines is not for everyone. You have to complete a training session. Training is intense as you are never prepared for what you are going to hear. You think you are prepared but there are cases you can never be prepared for. To work on the helplines needs more than being able to listen, you’ve got to feel it in your heart, deep down inside. And be prepared to not judge.’ 

JAAR helpline: 01534 482800. Email: help@jaar.je