Mental health helpline volunteer's 25 years of service recognised with special award

A volunteer who has given a quarter century of service to a North Wales based mental health helpline has been recognised with a special award.

Karl Bailey has been presented with a surprise Seren Betsi Award in recognition of his 25 years of voluntary service at the CALL 24/7 Mental Health Helpline for Wales.

The Seren Betsi Award celebrates the hard work and dedication of NHS staff and volunteers across the region.

Funded by the Welsh Government and run by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, the CALL 24/7 Mental Health Helpline for Wales provides emotional support and signposting to a range of local, regional and national mental health and wellbeing services.

Karl has been volunteering with CALL Helpline since it was founded in 1995 and has supported the introduction of the DAN 24/7 Wales Drug and Alcohol Helpline in 2008, and the Wales Dementia Helpline in 2010.

During his three decades of selfless service it is estimated that he has gifted 3,600 hours and answered more than 7,200 calls from people in need.

Despite moving from the Wrexham area to south Shropshire, Karl hasn’t let a 50 mile commute prevent him from carrying out the voluntary role that he is so passionate about.

Karl was nominated for the award by Michelle Jones from BCUHB, who paid tribute to his dedication and passion for helping others.

She said: “Karl’s invaluable efforts to go above and beyond the call of duty span over nearly 25 years of dedicated service. His enthusiasm and passion for helping others has potentially saved thousands of lives and this will have undoubtedly had a positive, rippling effect within families and their communities.” 

Luke Ogden, Helpline Services Manager, said: “We all recognise and value the huge contribution that volunteers like Karl make in helping us provide support to people who need it most around the clock, every day of the year.  Everyone in the team feels privileged to know and work alongside Karl and we have all benefitted from his experience, dedication and kindness.”

The CALL 24/7 Mental Health Helpline for Wales, DAN 24/7 Wales Drug and Alcohol Helpline and the Wales Dementia Helpline are available every day, all year round.

CALL 24/7 Mental Health Helpline for Wales

Call freephone 0800 132737; text Help to 81066 or visit www.callhelpline.org.uk

DAN 24/7 Wales Drug and Alcohol Helpline

Call freephone 0808 808 2234; text DAN to: 81066 or visit www.dan247.org.uk/

Wales Dementia Helpline

Call Freephone 0808 808 2235; text Help to 81066 or visit: www.dementiahelpline.org.uk