thinkSMS – Women’s Aid Federation

helpWomen’s Aid is the lead voluntary organisation challenging domestic violence in Northern Ireland through awareness raising, policy development and also through the provision of services to women, children and young people experiencing domestic violence or at risk to domestic violence.

The core work of Women’s Aid in Northern Ireland, including Women’s Aid Federation Northern Ireland and the 10 local Women’s Aid groups is:

•    To provide refuge accommodation to women and their children suffering mental, physical or sexual abuse within the home. Women’s Aid is the lead voluntary organisation challenging domestic violence in Northern Ireland through awareness raising, policy development and also through the provision of services to women, children and young people experiencing domestic violence or at risk to domestic violence.

The core work of Women’s Aid in Northern Ireland, including Women’s Aid Federation Northern Ireland and the 10 local Women’s Aid groups is:

•    To provide refuge accommodation to women and their children suffering mental, physical or sexual abuse within the home.

•    To run the 24 Hour Domestic Violence Helpline.

•    To provide a range of support services to enable women who are leaving a violent situation to rebuild their lives and the lives of their children.

•    To provide a range of support services to children and young people who have experienced domestic violence.

•    To run preventative education programmes in schools and other settings.

•    To educate and inform the public, media, police, courts, social services and other agencies of the impact and effects of domestic violence.

•    To advise and support all relevant agencies in the development of domestic violence policies, protocols and service delivery.

•    To work in partnership with all relevant agencies to ensure a joined up response to domestic violence.

 

womensaidWomen’s Aid statistics (2010- 2011)

•    12 refuges with 300 bed spaces, playrooms and facilities.

•    1,058 women and 754 children sought refuge in 2010/11.

•    12 resource centres for women seeking information and support; group work and training.

•    24 Hour Domestic Violence Helpline 0800 917 1414 – 38,289 calls from 2010/11.

•    Move-on houses for women and children leaving refuges.

•    3,450 women were supported through Floating Support and 3,739 children were indirectly supported through Floating Support in 2010/11.

•    Training on domestic violence and related issues.

•    Inter-agency work across Northern Ireland.

 

The email and texting service is another available channel to the 24 Hour Domestic Violence Helpline.

•    The helpline offers 24 hour support and information to those affected by domestic violence by fully trained staff and volunteers.

•    Raise awareness of and provide information on local, specialist Women’s Aid services.

•    Facilitates referrals and access to local Women’s Aid Groups.

•    Provides the most up to date information on rooms available in local Women’s Aid refuges for women and children.

•    Offers a signposting service to anyone affected by domestic violence.

•    Provide training for volunteers for learning on issues relating to the Helpline Services.

•    32,296 calls calls 1/04/10 – 31/03/11

When the helpline decided to start an email and texting service we did a lot of research into the area and got several quotes for different service providers.  We also wanted a service provider that could meet the needs of the organisation.

 

user at waThe system needed to move our service into the next level of support, we have operated a very successful helpline offering support to those affected by domestic violence from 1995, but we needed to deliver what our callers wanted and through our own research we discovered that our callers wanted other channels of communication in which to get support which included email and text.Precept have the advantage for us of being close in location if we need them, have any queries etc., and they are also always at the end of a computer or phone and respond quickly and efficiently to our needs.

•    To run the 24 Hour Domestic Violence Helpline.

•    To provide a range of support services to enable women who are leaving a violent situation to rebuild their lives and the lives of their children.

•    To provide a range of support services to children and young people who have experienced domestic violence.

•    To run preventative education programmes in schools and other settings.

•    To educate and inform the public, media, police, courts, social services and other agencies of the impact and effects of domestic violence.

•    To advise and support all relevant agencies in the development of domestic violence policies, protocols and service delivery.

•    To work in partnership with all relevant agencies to ensure a joined up response to domestic violence.

 

The email and texting service is another available channel to the 24 Hour Domestic Violence Helpline.

 

•    The helpline offers 24 hour support and information to those affected by domestic violence by fully trained staff and volunteers.

•    Raise awareness of and provide information on local, specialist Women’s Aid services.

•    Facilitates referrals and access to local Women’s Aid Groups.

•    Provides the most up to date information on rooms available in local Women’s Aid refuges for women and children.

•    Offers a signposting service to anyone affected by domestic violence.

•    Provide training for volunteers for learning on issues relating to the Helpline Services.

•    32,296 calls calls 1/04/10 – 31/03/11

When the helpline decided to start an email and texting service we did a lot of research into the area and got several quotes for different service providers.  We also wanted a service provider that could meet the needs of the organisation.  The system needed to move our service into the next level of support, we have operated a very successful helpline offering support to those affected by domestic violence from 1995, but we needed to deliver what our callers wanted and through our own research we discovered that our callers wanted other channels of communication in which to get support which included email and text.

 

Comments about Precept IT…

The email and text service has been a great success in that the staff and volunteers have been able to adapt to the changing needs of the service as it has grown and developed over the last number of years.  With our new system we are offering a wide range of channels for people who need support to communicate with us and we couldn’t of asked for a better tailored system that that produced by Precept.  It met the needs of our organisation and it can be tailored to change again in the future.  We hope to work again with Precept in the coming year to develop a live web chat facility for our service users and we are excited about the prospect of this service and look forward to working with the Precept IT team again.  Precept have the advantage for us of being close in location if we need them, have any queries etc., and they are also always at the end of a computer or phone and respond quickly and efficiently to our needs.