Women’s Aid extend Live Chat open hours during COVID-19 lockdown, due to huge demand and support for the service
Women’s Aid will be doubling the Live Chat hours available to survivors during the Covid-19 lockdown. From Monday 20th April, the service will be open to survivors from 10am – 2pm, Monday – Friday.
Within the first two weeks of lockdown, there was a 41% increase inusers visiting the Live Chat site. Since the lockdown has been extended by government and we expect to see a continued rise in need, Women’s Aid will redeploy current staff to enable the longer opening hours and better support survivors as a direct response to the effect the pandemic is having on women and children trapped with abuse. All Live Chat expert support workers have all completed the extensive Women’s Aid direct services training programme and are qualified to provide expert support.
Women’s Aid would like to thank the enormous public support of our #SupportSurvivors appeal which has reached it’s ambitious £200,000 target and a generous donation from Pantene that has made this temporary extension of hours possible. We will continue to fundraise for this service to ensure we can sustainably fund these longer hours after the pandemic. Thank you for all the support our digital services have received, every donation received will support survivors.
Nicki Norman, Acting-CEO of Women’s Aid, said:
“We’re delighted to be able to keep the Live Chat service running and to open it up for longer during this crisis. Thank you to our amazing supporters and everyone who has donated to our #SupporterSurvivors appeal so far. We are hugely grateful to Pantene, who’s generosity is enabling us to go far beyond our original aim to keep the service running. Thanks to this donation, we can now temporarily double our opening hours to support more women who need us during the crisis.
It’s phenomenal that our supporters have been able to turn it around from a vital service that was on tenterhooks to it now being able to open for longer during the most critical time for thousands of survivors.
The Live Chat is currently more vital than ever as it can be discreetly accessed by women who are able to privately message on their phones but who would be unable to make a phone call without being heard by the perpetrator.”
Ella Salkeld, Pantene Brand Manager, said:
“In a time of uncertainty and isolation we want to help women find their strength, something that when home is not a safe space can be even more critical, so we are proud to support Women’s Aid in extending their live chat service.”
Melanie Brown, Women’s Aid patron, said:
“As Patron of Women’s Aid and a survivor of domestic abuse, thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who has donated towards the Live Chat emergency appeal. There could not be a more critical time and the whole world is now seeing the ever-rising epidemic of domestic violence which so often remains well hidden. That is why all of us at Women’s Aid are so pleased to be able to extend the opening hours during the Covid-19 crisis which leaves so many in critical danger and now will keep fundraising to keep this lifesaving service open in the future.”