Go back a step

Families value Contact’s new 1-2-1 advice and emotional support service

Monday 14th September 2020

Contact's new 1-2-1 listening ear service has been gratefully received by families up and down the country.

One parent said: "Thank you so much for your time this evening. It has honestly made such a difference to have someone listen and be able to talk about everything without being judged or worrying that I am going on about it too much! Thank you for the support and for reminding me what I know!"

In depth emotional support

At the start of the pandemic understandably the calls to our Helpline became more lengthy and the needs expressed by families significantly increased. We needed to adapt our helpline to have the capacity to offer more time for in depth emotional support.

With the support of the True Colours Trust, the Department of Health and Social Care and the National lottery Emergency COVID-19 Fund we developed a new Listening Ear telephone service to offer personal one to one telephone appointments with a Parent Adviser. This service provides confidential support and reassurance with practical and emotional help.

Using Eventbrite families can book a one hour appointment and identify in advance the issues they would like to discuss. Our Family Support Adviser follows up the appointment with an email signposting them to any resources or services discussed in the session and this could include a follow up appointment.

This week there are 3 free slots for Wednesday 16 September in the evening, and two in the morning on Thursday 17 and Friday 18 September.

Common concerns

Concerns commonly raised include: Behaviour, sleep, parental stress and looking for strategies to help cope with the additional challenges many are facing.

One parent said:"A huge thanks to everyone involved in providing this service, it's been a lifesaver for me. I needed someone to just listen and that is exactly what I got. It has made me feel less stressed and more able to deal with everything life is throwing at me right now rather than feeling I have to bottle everything up and have no outlet for it."

Overall parents who have used the service in the last five months said:

  • 98% felt better informed about how to get the support they need
  • 100% would recommend Contact services to others
  • 95% felt supported