14th May 2020
We are delighted to announce the launch of our new webchat service. This will run alongside our helpline and is open 10am-12pm and 6pm-8pm every weekday.
Webchat provides another route to get support or have a friendly chat with people who get what it’s like to stammer. By providing phone, webchat and email support, we want to be as accessible as possible, making sure that everyone can contact us using the channel that suits them best.
Who is it for?
Webchat, like our helpline, is there for anyone in the UK who stammers or who works with, cares for, or knows someone who stammers. It's staffed by volunteers who either stammer, are parents of children who stammer, or who are speech and language therapists. One way or another, they understand what it's like to stammer.
We developed webchat in response to a survey of our members in 2019*. Our polling showed that 43% of those aged under 25 ranked webchat as their first choice of a support channel, followed by email and video, with phone a distant last at 13%. Older members picked the phone as their first choice of support (39%), with webchat in second place at 31%.
Taking Calls & Chats
Since January, Kirsten Howells (Programme Lead) and Lee Millam (Helpline Manager) have been busy expanding and training up our team of volunteers in readiness for webchat. Our virtual call centre allows volunteers to take calls and chats from wherever they are based, and still maintain close contact with and support from staff. The volunteers are spread across the UK; from Woking to Worcester, Workington and Whitby, with Middlesbrough, Manchester, Leeds, London, Cardiff and Bristol thrown in for good measure.
One volunteer said, "Working on the helpline is a bit of an adventure. Sometimes it's quiet and sometimes it's very busy, with lots of calls one after the other. Some calls are straightforward, some are more complex or more intense. Some people just want to chat, whereas others have specific questions or concerns. It's interesting!"
Chat to us!
Don't let all this good work go to waste! Chat to us or call us whether you stammer yourself or have a child who stammers. Vent about a difficult day, ask about therapies and courses, practise a technique or run through a mock job interview. Whatever. Got a laptop or a phone? Fire it up and fire away.
Our helpline/webchat team are an enthusiastic, dedicated bunch who generously give their time to support others who stammer. So contact us. It's what we're here for.
*Members' views were solicited via Survey Monkey, March 2019 in two surveys: 1) Survey for young people under 25, number of respondents = 60; 2) Survey for people over 25, number of respondents = 196.