Wednesday’s Child has accelerated the launch of its telephone support service and is using video conferencing tool Zoom for one-to-one counselling and group support.
A mental health charity that helps people affected by eating disorders has ratcheted up its digital and remote support in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Due to isolation caused by the outbreak, Wednesday’s Child has been restricted in its ability to offer counselling and support in person, but is now making this available through video-conferencing tool Zoom.
Meanwhile, monthly craft activity sessions had been planned for families. These will now also take place via the video conferencing tool due to the pandemic.
“With our physical groups not possible, we’ll host weekly by Zoom, giving people a week’s notice about what craft we’ll be doing to ensure that the materials we’re going to use are things people have at home already,” said Wednesday’s Child Founder Debbie Watson.
“They don’t have to do that particular craft with us if they don’t want, but can still join the group and do their colouring of sewing or just enjoy the friendship.”
In addition, the charity had planned to set up a telephone helpline service ahead of the summer, which is seen as a traditionally stressful time for families.
But the helpline launch has been brought forward due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the need to offer support remotely. This has been made possible after the Suffolk based charity was offered sponsorship for the helpline from technology and telecommunications firm DPS Technology.
“This is a really significant step for us, and something we have been eager to implement in order to reach the large number of families or individuals who cannot, or do not feel able to, have physical meetings or appointments about eating disorder issues,” said Watson.
“It also allows callers to make contact with relative anonymity, so they can share concerns or anxieties with our team in a way which feels comfortable and empathetic.”
Dean Willingham, Managing Partner of DPS Technology, added: “We’re extremely pleased to be able to support Wednesday’s Child by offering this service.
“This helpline is essential for providing a connection to people who are struggling, and even more so in the current period of such uncertainty, and potential isolation.”
“We are proud to be able to give our expertise and resource in a way which allows Wednesday’s Child to focus on its invaluable work – rather than being distracted by the need for funding and for sourcing the right technology.”