Solo Protect Safety Units

The aims of the Stepping Stones project were to ensure a high level of continuous service was provided safely to the men and women supported at Stepping Stones North Wales during this pandemic and beyond.

With the COVID pandemic Stepping Stones suddenly needed to re-think and adapt the way they worked and the way they provided their specialist services to those vulnerable people they support in the communities throughout North Wales.

At Stepping Stones North Wales the majority of our support was normally face to face counselling, advocacy and family support and this was delivered at counselling rooms throughout the whole of North Wales.

We quickly adapted the way we worked contacting all our clients and offering alternative means of support. Many of the men and women we support suffer with poor mental health, anxiety, low self-esteem and isolation and this was increased even greater during this crisis, we had to act quick.

We now provide a range of support from virtual counselling, telephone, text, wellbeing texts and activity packs for wellbeing, also a newsletter, dedicated Facebook page for clients to access news, information and support links, food parcels and prescription deliveries and all mainly delivered by staff and counsellors working at home travelling alone or isolated in buildings.

After funding from Gwynt Y Môr  for the amount of £4,290.00 for the Solo Protect Fobs has enabled us over the last twelve months to deliver all of these services safely and to the benefit of all those we support. The safety, protection and support through the personal fobs will continue long after the restrictions have ended and make a real difference to peoples lives

The support from Gwynt y Mor Investment Fund to Stepping Stones North Wales in enabling the purchase of 20 Safety/protection fobs has made a real difference to our staff, counsellors, supervisors, and clients. Stepping Stones provides professional counselling and support to adult survivors of sexual abuse in childhood and the effects of the trauma of abuse they suffer.

During the COVID crisis our charity needed to quickly adapt the way we offered our services, our normal face to face support throughout the six counties of North Wales had to stop. The fobs provide a lifeline of protection and safety to counsellors and staff who are lone working in buildings that during COVID have had little if any normal support staff, enabling individuals to have a direct link to a Solo Protect support system, where they can access help, 24hrs a day through the press of a button on their personal safety fobs.

Each personal fob carries details of the person using the fob, area they are working in, any medical information to be aware of and an escalation contact in the case of an emergency. The difference in being able to have access to emergency medical assistance, including a “man down response” in a case of a slip trip or fall also access to a quick response and safety support during a traumatic client episode and a listening ear when someone is on their own in a building has proved invaluable.

All the Stepping Stones Team say they now feel safe and supported, less isolated and less anxious.   The fobs will continue to provide safety and protection now and well into the future enabling consistent, continuous access and vital support to staff, counsellors, volunteers and the survivors we support as we carry on the vital work in our community. Thank you.

Shirley McCann, Project Manager

Community and Voluntary Support Conwy
7 Rhiw Rd, Colwyn Bay LL29 7TG

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