Covid-19: Same storm, different boats.
Covid-19 has changed our lives in different ways, but the one certain thing is that everybody has been affected in some way. Many have experienced devastating loss of loved ones, half of us have seen our homes become our offices and whilst we’ve never needed our relationships more, the pandemic has put a significant strain on them.
As the North West relationships charity, we’ve done everything we can from the moment lockdown was announced in March 2020 to ensure we maintain our current services and expand further to reach those who need us most.
How have we helped?
- We immediately made as many face-to-face services as possible digitally accessible – this prioritised your wellbeing and that of our teams
- We were able to access funding to enable those facing difficult times because of Covid-19 were able to have free counselling
- We have worked internally to take care of our teams and equipped them with the training and skills they need to deliver work digitally
- We’ve connected with the sector more widely, to participate in discussions and share knowledge that can support charity sustainability
What you can expect from us:
- Our team will as always, be understanding, polite and try to give you as much information as they can
- We’ll aim to accommodate you as much as possible
- Our team delivering services will be trained on how to do so
- Our practitioners will deliver the same high quality and standard of support they always do
In this uncertain time, where we are making changes, we politely ask that in order for us to deliver the best possible service to you and other people who need it, please do:
- Extend patience and flexibility whilst our team get used to the new ways of working
- Be assured that our service delivery and reception staff will always do their best to support you
- Let us know as soon as possible if you would like to cancel an appointment
- Inform us as soon as possible if you need to change or amend any of your appointments, or if you have any specific circumstances you wish us to know about in order to accommodate you
How do our services currently work?
If you are wishing to work with us we encourage you to request an appointment online as this is the fastest way for us to process your request. There are links below for each of our services, please follow these accordingly.
Currently, we are working with individuals via Zoom or phone, depending on the client's preference. For couples, to ensure we work in the most proactive way with both people, we are using Zoom only.
To learn more about Zoom, we've created guides which include instructional videos for clients:
- Mediation Clients - How To Use Zoom
- Counselling and Domestic Abuse Services Clients - How To Use Zoom
Things to consider before booking in:
During this time, we are conducting ongoing risk assessments to ensure we are working as safely as possible with clients and that their privacy is protected. We ask that clients consider and adhere to the following in order to get the most out of their sessions:
Equipment: Does your device have a microphone and a camera? If you have an older laptop or desktop machine, you may need to purchase or borrow a headset. It may be a good idea to practice using Zoom before your first session. If this is not possible and you are working with us as an individual, you may find phone appointments easier.
Location: Think about where you want to hold your session. Choose somewhere that feels comfortable and secure and consider how you might feel after the session. For example, your bedroom might feel comfortable – but it could be helpful to have the session somewhere that feels separate. Please also consider safety and the space around you, for example - not having a session whilst driving or in a noisy outdoor space.
Privacy: Do you have a place where you can attend sessions each week where you won’t be interrupted? If you’re having individual sessions, rather than couple counselling, headphones may be helpful to ensure your privacy. If you are in a shared household, do you need to make sure people know not to disturb you for an hour?
Safety and confidentiality: We will be sending you the session link by email. If you don’t want anyone to know you are having sessions, make sure you stay logged out of your email on your device and have a password that no one else knows.
Women’s Behaviour Change Programme (Referring yourself)
Women’s Behaviour Change Programme (Referring someone you’re working with)
As we work with both perpetrators of domestic abuse and those impacted by their behaviour, the safety of victims, survivors and children is a critical priority for us. We appreciate, given the current circumstances of self-isolation, that this work remains as important as ever.
Due to Covid-19, we will be doing the following:
- Continuing our 1-2-1 work remotely with perpetrators of domestic abuse on changing their behaviour
- Continuing vital work with victims, survivors and children remotely
- Further increasing our safeguarding communications and processes
- Adapting our ways of working to continue to put safety of those affected first
- Working with our colleagues across the sector to maintain best practice
We will be doing everything we can to ensure we continue to provide essential services and will stand by all our clients, prioritising safety and well-being at such a difficult time.
If you have any further questions:
We’d like to thank you for your patience and understanding. We know it’s a difficult time for many. As a relationships organisation, we also know that this can be a trying time for relationships for many reasons. Please do contact us if you need support, as that is what we are here to do.
If you are looking for additional support, there are a variety of links to specific resources and organisations below.