Earlier this year, leading local parenting support charity Parenting NI launched a new online service for parents. The introduction of a web chat feature on the organisations website was a great development for Parenting NI, allowing support to be even more accessible for parents in Northern Ireland.
“We were really excited to introduce a web chat feature for parents in February this year.” explains Gillian Allen, Helpline Supervisor at Parenting NI. “We feel it’s important for parents to be able to contact us by whatever means they feel most comfortable and it also enables them to access the same type of support online as they would receive on the Parenting NI Helpline. This has been a very welcome big step forward for the organisation.”
Parenting NI will be extending the availability of the online support service throughout August by offering 4 hours of web chat daily. With children being off school the summer months can often be the most challenging for parents so the parenting support organisation thought it was appropriate to make the service available for longer during this time.
“We’re really pleased that parents who may not have contacted us before now feel they can do so via web chat.” Gillian continued: “For example, we’ve seen that it is a really useful tool for parents who have hearing or verbal communication difficulties to engage with services and seek support.”
“Some parents will struggle with plucking up the courage to call the helpline, whereas dropping us an instant message online may seem a little less intimidating. In any instance, for whatever reason a parent may not be able to contact us by phone, it’s important that parents feel able to reach out for support and that the support is accessible for all.”
The web chat service is available on the Parenting NI website from 10 am to 2 pm Monday to Friday for the month of August.