Louis Baylis grant will help fund DASH helpline during lockdown

A domestic abuse charity is using a grant from the Louis Baylis Trust to run helplines to support those in need.

Alison Bourne, chief executive officer of the DASH (Domestic Abuse Stops Here) charity said each call to its helpline cost £13 – and it’s funding from the Royal Borough does not cover this.

She said: “Each call costs £13 so you can save a life with £13 essentially. We’ve had a massive increase in calls to the hotline during lockdown.

“It is really busy and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be letting up anytime soon.”

The charity was awarded £1,000 in the latest round of grants from the Louis Bayils Trust with previous grants going towards its healthy relationship workshops.

Alison added: “We’ve had a couple of Louis Baylis grants and they are just fantastic. Before lockdown we managed to run 65 workshops in local schools and that reached 2,750 children. Since March we’ve transferred some of them to online.”

The charity’s other services are running as normal including its refuges and the advocacy and outreach services with all staff working from home.

Alison said: “These guys are just amazing, they are sitting in bedrooms and dining rooms. The cases are so much more complex and so they are taking longer but at least no one is travelling anywhere.”

Although staff are practically set up well with laptops and printers, Alison said the work can take its toll on staff members working from home as there ‘is no escape from it’.

She said: “The difference between taking a difficult call in your workplace is you can have a chat with a colleague about it and review it.

“We are working really hard to look after the wellbeing of the team and stay connected with Zoom calls and coffee catch ups.

“I do worry about how long people can do this for. It’s tough work to do and to do remotely with no one sitting next to you to talk to is a challenge but they are doing it and it’s just brilliant.”

The charity, which supports vulnerable people in the Royal Borough and Slough has temporarily taken on more staff during the pandemic.

This year the charity will celebrate its 45th year and will be launching a virtual fundraising challenge in the coming weeks.

It is also actively looking for funding for a children’s hub in Maidenhead which would cost around £75k. The charity’s goal is to open the hub once lockdown lifts where children can come to therapy rooms.

Visit www.thedashcharity.org.uk to find out more about the charity.

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