Helping women get heard
For the women of Bristol, Womankind is a safe place to turn to for confidential support at times of crisis. The charity is run by women, for women, with the goal of helping to support mental health and wellbeing.
For Womankind, improving support accessibility is an ongoing ambition. And, for the young and for those affected by hearing loss, the easiest accessibility is achieved via online chat services.
Womankind was striving to be as approachable as possible to all its service users – regardless of their age, ability, or even first language.
Importantly, the charity wanted this support to be as equivalent as possible for women with hearing loss. It was a web chat service that would create the discreet, low-barrier touchpoint needed. And it was critical that this service adhered to Womankind’s security requirements to protect vulnerable women.
After trialling different live chat solutions, Womankind opted for WhosOn as the solution that offered the required level of flexibility.
Rather than a generic approach to chat, the WhosOn team delivered a custom project focused on accessibility, inclusion, and confidentiality.
With some niche professional services work, all objectives for the chat project have been met. Now, Womankind has:
• A custom-designed chat avatar – sans a headset, a masculine or a Caucasian appearance – that promotes diversity and service user representation
• A bespoke chat button that shows when chat is online but fully occupied, for transparent accountability against opening hours
• A ‘leave this site safely’ button inside the chat window, so women can exit the session and wipe Womankind from their browsing history with a click
• In-chat translation, to make support inclusive for service users who don’t speak (or can’t write fluently in) English
• A secure, anonymous live chat service that does not trace service users and allows anonymity
“We chose WhosOn because they communicated really well with us, and because they were offering flexibility around the design of the platform. We knew we would need some special features and they seemed keen to take on the challenge!
The other factor that clinched the deal was that WhosOn was offering in-chat translation, and being accessible to Bristol women whose first language isn’t English felt really important to us.
Parker Software was very patient with our custom needs and we ended up with something we’re very happy with. We’ve been really pleased with how well the webchat has been taken up. We’ve had great feedback from service users, and we’re keen to grow the service in the months and years to come.”
Laura Gallagher, Volunteer Service Co-ordinator, Womankind