EU-funded project
Best Practice



Recruiting young volunteers for crisis help-lines

The volunteers are the backbone of IFOTES and every helpline. The YOUThES project's aim was to exchange information, best practices and and develop new strategies for recruitment, motivation, skills enhancement and appropriate mentoring of young people in crisis support.

Aim of the project

The aim of the partnership was to achieve an additional value of knowledge and experience for each partner throughout common reflection and exchange on best practices of recruiting young volunteers working for the emergency hotlines of the partner organizations.



SOS Amitié France

Kirkens SOS Bergen

Telefono Amico Italia

LESZ Hungary 

Telefonseelsorge Austria

Studio Rucli Italy

Palveleva puhelin Finland

The outcome

5 Points of Recommendation

1.Motivate the staff to appreciate the value of having young volunteers!

-Use different ways to motivate: workshops, discussion at local and national levels and with volunteers, staff and organisation

-Change mindsets: don’t be afraid of young people leaving too soon

2.Make TES known to young people!

-Engage experts to develop a strategic communication plan

-Use modern channels of communication

-Get into personal contacts with young people through schools, universities and national and local events

3.Think over and adapt rules, habits and ways of recruitment!

-Mobility: entitle trained volunteers to work in any center of your organisation, even in TES organisations abroad

-Integrate young volunteers in the organisation and give them responsibilities

-Esteem and foster young people’s talents

-Reconsider the anonymity of working for TES. Let young volunteers talk about their commitment to helping people

-Ask new volunteers to agree to make at least a one-year commitment to TES

4.Contribute to the motivation of young volunteers!

-Offer quality, attractive and certified quality training

-Stress the benefits of gaining personal growth and life-experience

-Give young volunteers the opportunity to be a part of an international community (IFOTES)

5.Share the importance of listening skills in society!

-Develop methods to show how good listening can make committed citizens and contribute to mental and social health of the society

A best practice manual was developed by the partners.