Switchboard's service is free, anonymous and confidential. Their phones are staffed by trained volunteers who themselves are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. They have over forty trained volunteers staffing the phones for over 30 hours per week.
In order to become a volunteer counsellor, one must complete an intensive training programme. Switchboard's trained volunteer counsellors receive calls from a wide range of people: queer folk who may be experiencing problems at work, in their relationships or with their family; people who are coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender and family or friends of people who are gay or lesbian. Some issues may be related to a caller's sexuality or the caller will often choose to call their service about issues not related to sexuality but prefer the help of a GLBTI organisation.