Volunteering as a Humanity First UK (HFUK) Call Handler

My name is Hajia Tawakalitu Ahmed and I am a volunteer call handler with HFUK. At the beginning of the first national lockdown in April 2020, HFUK called on all members of the jamaat who can to volunteer for the HFUK Coronavirus helpline. I am among the first set of volunteers trained as call handlers and I am usually on shift for two to four hours a day, four to five days a week.

My role as a call handler includes assessing callers’ needs through the information given, linking callers to the right service, providing advice and guidance on how to access support required. I also chat with callers who just want to hear a friendly voice because they are lonely or going through mental health stress due to COVID 19. All calls are recorded on a form with details of the assessment and intervention provided, and sometimes cases are forwarded to the team leaders. Completed forms are submitted via HFUK Coronavirus helpline portal for follow-up by the team leaders. Regular team meetings are held to discuss what is going on well and what needs to improve.

I received a call from one of the HFUK team leaders after the national lockdown was lifted in July. He informed me that with permission from Huzur (ATBA), HFUK Director has asked him to appoint six female call handlers who will be handling the helpline permanently throughout the UK and will be part of HFUK team. He told me that they were really impressed with my work ethics, skills and commitment and will like me to remain as one of the six call handlers.

This Six female HFUK call handlers team headed by Ms Jabeen Seth was appointed towards the end of July 2020. We officially took over the running of the HFUK helpline on the 27th of July, 2020. I am the only African and PAAMA member among the team, and we take turns to be on shift from 10am to 6pm Monday to Sunday every week.

I give glory to almighty Allah for giving me the opportunity to serve the Jamaat in this way.