As the C-19 lockdown was announced A Way Out (AWO) was prepared and our services quickly adapted to working under restricted conditions.
For AWO’s women’s projects preparation included safety planning for all clients. We identified a number of vulnerable women who had disengaged from all other agencies and services but had chosen to maintain contact with AWO, and we have been able to prioritise our support for these women who have experienced extreme hardship.
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Knowing these women will feel pushed towards even great risk taking behaviour has been a harsh reality. AWO’s staff have been supporting clients in crisis over the phone, liaising with statutory and other support agencies, ensuring confidentiality and safeguarding procedures are adhered to and supporting each other via on-line meetings.
For the young people and families who receive support from AWO’s Youth & Families team we were quick to liaise with the schools and parents and set up online virtual support and activities.
But not all of our support has been remote, every week AWO’s staff have packed up and delivered food parcels to the door step of those in need, this made possible by generous public donations of non-perishable foods and toiletries.
Carefully considered activity packs aimed at maintaining wellbeing and improving mental health have accompanied the crisis food parcels, eg ‘Seeds of Hope’ with soil and plant pots have encouraged a sense of nurturing and future focus.