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Telephone Service and 12 step Calls: Volunteers Needed!

Help urgently needed for London Telephone Service

The London Telephone Service answers calls every day between 10am and 10pm, with teams of three to five AA members working on four-hour shifts, taking calls from the suffering alcoholic and others.

Most volunteers now do this from home, using an app to answer calls, a dedicated website to log call details and an online meeting to communicate with the rest of the team. Many calls come from the London helpline number (020 7407 0700) but the London phone teams also pick up national calls to the 0800 helpline.

This service is supported by the London Telephone Service and Twelve-stepping Service Committee, which all Intergroup and Region Telephone Liaison Officers (TLOs) attend. The other officers on this committee are responsible for keeping London phone service operating by:

Organising and keeping records of the committee meetings (Chair and Secretary)
Maintaining the website and managing the data stored there (Web Support Officer)
Helping teams with the app, website and other general advice (Phone Service Support)
Organising the training programme for new volunteers (Training Co-ordinator)
We urgently need AA members to volunteer for this Committee service. Some of the officers doing the work above have now served well beyond their three-year commitment, while others are doing work on their own which should be supported by a team.

If you have experience with our Telephone Service, that would be ideal. However, a lot of the work we need help with can be done by someone with no phone service experience, if you are willing to learn. Here are some of the roles we need to fill:

Secretary to the Committee
Training co-ordinator team member
Phone service support officer
Phone service support team member
Web support team member
Chair to the Committee
Please consider taking up this service so that we can continue to take calls and offer the hand of AA to those who need it when they first arrive.

See below for more information about each role. If you are interested, please email us â?? just let us know which role youâ??re thinking of and how we can contact you.


12 step calls

When people on the 12 step list are called, we need to check that they have thought about how to make the approach to the newcomer. Suggestions about what a 12-stepper might do:

Inform the caller that AA meetings are usually face-to-face but have moved online
Check if they are familiar with Zoom, and ask if they need help with it
Ask (gently) for the suffering alcoholic’s email address, in order to share the websites with links to online meetings.
Introduce them to the literature on the AAGB site.
Let them know that WhatsApp groups are widely used. Encourage them to consider joining one.
If a 12-stepper is not confident about providing this guidance they could call the newcomer and talk generally about the AA programme. They can point the newcomer to online meetings. If the newcomer needs help with Zoom, the 12-stepper may need to ask if someone else can contact them to provide that.

AA Southern Service Office, 1 Raven Wharf, 14 Lafone Street (at corner of Queen Elizabeth St.), London SE1 2LR

If you can spare a few hours once a week or once a month please do get it touch. Members report back that it’s a very rewarding way to give service!

Updated 19.07.2023