News : Campaign Launched to Keep Crisis Helpline Going
Reading, UK, Aug 5, 2016 -- A Crisis helpline could receive a lifeline of its own as a crowdfunding campaign aims to keep it going.
The Dash Charity will be the beneficiaries of a campaign to raise funds to keep the vital service running on a permanent basis to offer support to victims of domestic abuse.
The helpline is currently operating at reduced hours due to a lack of resources and staff, with the 9am-5pm service having to cut off most days at around 1pm.
With around six first-time referrals every day coming in through the helpline, the charity is desperate for the service to continue.
Olivia Allaway, lead of communications and fundraising for the Dash Charity, said: "It is a vital way that victims can self refer to us and the helpline is probably the first thing that pops out to them.
"If they cannot get through that first time then it can be quite difficult for them to call back a second time.
"We do not have enough staff on the helpline. We have a team of 25-35 in the office, with one helpline coordinator. The amount of time they can spend on the phone depends on their case load work."
The donation would enable the charity, which serves Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead and South Bucks, to employ a part time staff member dedicated to the helpline.
Miss Allaway added: "It is absolutely vital for us. We need a way that the public can contact us. Officers and people who are referring from other agencies are not at the first stage, and often have healthcare or housing people helping them.
"For the people who call us, we are often the first lifeline."
The campaign was launched by Sue Brook, who used to work in Slough but now lives in Ealing, who wanted to help the charity raise some much needed money.
The mother-of-two said: "I was collecting old toys and to find somewhere to donate them a couple of years ago - somewhere worthwhile rather than just to a charity shop where it would be put in storage. Recently I thought it would be nice to help them raise some money. I contacted Olivia and asked what their priorities would be and she said that they needed help in manning the helpline."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Monday, August 8, 2016