Many Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic organisations in Wales have witnessed increased service demand from community members impacted by Covid-19 needing advice and support around a range of areas. A partnership of organisations working together launched a brand new national multilingual telephone helpline on 7 September 2020 to respond to this demand.
EYST, working in partnership with Women Connect First, Henna Foundation, ProMo Cymru, Wales TUC and key stakeholders, received funding from the Welsh Government via the Voluntary Services Emergency Fund managed by WCVA to deliver the helpline, initially as a six-month pilot project.
The helpline will provide an accessible first port of call for information on a range of specialist, mainstream and community organisations, with call handlers speaking a range of community languages.
As the digital partner, ProMo supported the Multilingual Helpline Wales through designing brand, website, technical set up and training staff on new systems and new ways of working.
We developed the helpline name, logo and bilingual website. When choosing a name for the service, a few different ideas were discussed. ‘BAME Helpline Wales’ was agreed for a few reasons. First of all, the terminology BAME (which refers to people of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnicity) is widely known. This helps when it comes to marketing and awareness-raising, we wanted to add Helpline Wales for clarity – people know exactly what the service offers. We needed to choose a name that made for a short website URL as this helps users find the service. When we looked into domain names, both bame.wales and bame.cymru were available, meaning we had addresses for the English and Welsh versions of the site.
When creating the logo, we wanted it to be simple and easily associable with the helpline as a service. We decided to use the concept of the chat/speech bubble as the foundation for the design as it is widely associated with helplines. The logo consists of two lines coming together and forming the shape of the speech bubble – symbolising voices coming together.
We created a fast, clean, and accessible website that gives users all the information they would need, without overwhelming them with text or multiple pages. The information had to be easy to find and written in user-friendly language. We also know that page load speed is essential for users, especially those on mobiles with limited access to data. With all of this in mind, we created a single-page design built on WordPress. The site loads quickly (in just 2.1 seconds), uses an accessible open sans font, is light on text, and, very importantly, is responsive, meaning it works on any device – desktop, tablet or mobile.
We provided technical advice and supplied the technology required to run the helpline. This included acquiring suitable computers for the staff team and setting up systems to run a phone and text service.
ProMo delivered consultancy advice on running a helpline, supported the recruitment of the helpline staff team and delivered a series of training sessions for managers and advisors. These discussed the different aspects of running a helpline from setting up operational systems to training in communication skills and interventions via text and telephone.
Ongoing consultancy and training is in place to address emerging needs as the helpline becomes more established.
Our approach to developing helplines can be seen in our TEC Model
Multilingual Helpline Wales is available from Monday – Friday : 10.30 am – 2.30pm.
The helpline number is 0300 2225720 and SMS text on 07537 432416 the website is www.multilingualhelpline.wales
To find out more about working with us, contact Cindy Chen at firstname.lastname@example.org