Who works at our CSO?

We are all volunteers at Sydney City CSO.
Without you volunteering as part of your Twelfth Step service, there would be no CSO and some alcoholics may not get the AA message.

More importantly, the CSO relies on its volunteers to take the message outside the fellowship. If you have an idea about how to help the still-suffering alcoholic, other members of the team can support you and the CSO can provide you with reasonable resources.
No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.

Who can volunteer to work at the CSO?

All AA members are welcome to contribute in whatever ways their interests, skills and time allow. Willingness is the key to our recovery.

A newcomer can make a vital contribution at the CSO but experience has shown that a reasonable length of
sobriety is necessary to ensure you have enough emotional stability and sufficiently clear boundaries for some types of service such as a Twelfth Step call. For the safety of your sobriety, members ideally do these visits in pairs that include a more experienced member.

Members who take their turn to do service become part of Team Sober. This gives many alcoholics that ‘sense of belonging’ that the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions speaks of.

Contact us if you would like to volunteer.

That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things
and gain interest in our fellows.

Taking calls when not at the CSO

A primary way to carry the message to still-suffering alcoholics is to answer their calls for information. However, practising alcoholics do not always ring for help during office hours so we need to answer the Sydney City CSO Help Line (9387 7788) at other times.

This ‘virtual CSO’ service can be done from anywhere by diverting the calls to a landline or mobile. This diversion may even be necessary during the day if no one is available to be present in the CSO. AA pays the cost of diverting the call to your number.

If you are not able to do service in the office, then please consider putting your name down for taking calls on your number. The attached Team Sober Volunteer form allows you to indicate the days or times that suit you. (For information, it is unusual to have more than a couple of calls each night; on most
nights, there are no calls.)


Volunteers are asked to do blocks of service in the CSO. When there are no phone calls to take, you have access to office resources that can help you do other tasks that help carry the message.

Some members prefer the same block each week while others like to be more flexible. Many enjoy doing several blocks on the same day so they have time to share with newcomers and other visitors.

CSO can accommodate your lifestyle but it always helps to have advance notice of your availability.

Twelfth step calls

Some people who ring AA ask to talk to someone or be taken to their first meeting. Other requests come from professionals working in the alcohol field.

The CSO keeps a list of members who are willing to meet such people — ideally in company with another member.
You can also volunteer for this occasional service by contacting us.