On Friday 12th May, to coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week, Racing Welfare will be launching a new text contact method of accessing its services. Racing’s Support Line, the charity’s multi-channel helpline will now enable people to access support via the telephone, online and text message.
The Welfare team at Racing Welfare are aware that many people are put off seeking support as they may not feel comfortable picking up the phone and speaking to someone. There are many people that feel more comfortable with the feeling of anonymity given when sending a SMS text message. Furthermore, it is possible to communicate via text anonymously, even when people are in close proximity and a telephone call would not be possible.
Ofcom reported in 2012 that Text-based communications are surpassing traditional phone calls or meeting face to face as the most frequent ways of keeping in touch for UK adults. The average UK consumer now sends 50 texts per week with the 16-24 age bracket using this form of communication the most. This is a key age-group for Racing Welfare as these are people who are just setting out on their careers in racing and may wish to seek support with a range of problems relating to adjusting to living away from family for the first time.
Racing Welfare’s text services can be accessed through the number 07860 079 043. All text messages will be responded to within a one hour period and an appropriate action plan for support will then be made.
In total, the features of Racing’s Support Line now comprise:
- A ‘Getting Support’ area on the website which contains extensive and detailed information and advice in relation to accidents and injuries; money advice; illness and disabilities; family and relationships; addiction and recovery; retirement; housing and careers advice.
- An ‘Ask a Question’ feature which allows users to seek personalised advice and coaching through a web form.
- A ‘Live Chat’ feature which lets people communicate directly in real-time with an advisor.
- Text messaging services which allow people to get in touch via SMS
- An optional user account feature which allows people to track the status of any questions they have asked or of applications that they have made.
- The continuation of Racing Welfare’s 24 hour telephone helpline – which is fully integrated with the digital services. Additionally, the charity’s highly trained helpline operators can now undertake benefits checks through Turn2Us.
Dawn Goodfellow, Chief Executive, said: “The launch of an SMS text messaging service within Racing’s Support Line is a really important addition to the ways in which people can access Racing Welfare’s services. We are very much aware that we do not want to put any barriers in the way of people seeking support and providing a full range of communication methods with the charity helps ensure that this is the case.”
Racing Welfare’s text helpline can be reached through the number 07860 079 043. The Digital Support Services can be accessed at www.support.racingwelfare.co.uk. The 24 hour helpline will continue to be available on 0800 6300 443.
Racing Welfare’s Welfare Officers will continue to provide their expert service from the regional offices in Newmarket, Lambourn, Malton, Middleham and Epsom along with roving Welfare Officers based in the Midlands and the South-West; however, the extended multi-channel platform will allow them to have more time to dedicate to those most in need of specialist help.