During the current COVID 19 Pandemic, The Ely Centre has continued to provide essential support to Victims and Survivors, Veterans and their families from across Co Fermanagh, Tyrone and Armagh. In adherence to Govt Guidance, many of the staff were equipped with the tools to enable Remote Working and it was hard to ascertain the impact of this working shift, coupled with shielding restrictions applying to many of our clientele, how are services would be impacted. Like many we have diversifed many of our service delivery models to ensure our support continued, this capacity, desire and willingness to deiversify has had a multitude of benefits, including increased service uptake and attendance rates from our service clients.
Our Health and Well Being Programme including our Talking Therapies Programme moved to Online and Telephone Services, similarly our Welfare and Benefits Advice service provided online and telephone support to our clients.
Durinng Qtr1 of this year more talking therapy and HWB clients are being support as opposed to qtr 1 of the previous year, a similar story in uptake is also evidenced in our welfare services with over 300 clients availing of this support during te first 4 months of the current financial year. Less DNAs are being reported as clients now can access their required support from the comfort of their own home.
Social Support which is of cruuial importance during this prolonged time of social isolation has also moved to online delivery.
Many of our Personal Development and Social Support Mornings are now being delivered through online services.
As you will see from the graphic below, many of our members have evolved, embraced and enjoyed this new mode of delivery. Whilst the resumption of normal social interaction remains all our goal in the coming months, we have been delighted by the service uptake during this uncertain times.
Mr Lee McDowell Ely Director of Victims Services stated " As an organisation, like many Charities we were cautious about the imapct that COVID would have on our services. Many of which had never been delivered via online services. On an average week Pre Covid over 100-150 clients would have been attending our offices to avail of our support programme and we were concerned that by closing the doors how our clientele would be impacted. However, we made the decision quickly and moved all our services to online/telephone delivery at the end of March, and now this new normal of service delivery seems for many to have had a positive impact upon on service uptake/attendance rates and client well being. As of the end of July 2020 , Over 1100 beneficiaries have been supported over the first 4 months of the 2020 financial year. Clients living beyond are normal target areas are now able to access many of our online Health and Well. Programmes/ training courses at a time that suits them. This in turn has opened up new opportunities for the centre to expand our service scope which we will be developing in the coming months. Similarly our Clinical & welfare Teams have reported very favourable client feedback, including better session attendance. As an organisation we are currently equipping our centre wilth all Health and Safety Equipment for the resumption of the new normal working practices. This will include Appointment Only Entry/ Limited Nos in the Building etc. Clients will hopefully soon have the option of face to face or online support and as an organisation it will be interesting to evaluate client preference at the end of year for service delivery methods"