Are We Failing Those In Need?

April 26, 2024


There could be several reasons why charities may not always answer the telephone promptly:

  1. Limited Resources: Many charities operate with limited staff and resources. They might not have enough personnel to handle a high volume of calls, especially during peak times.
  2. Focus on Mission: Charities often prioritize their resources towards their core mission activities, such as providing services or conducting fundraising campaigns. Answering phones might not always align directly with these priorities.
  3. Volunteer Dependence: Some charities heavily rely on volunteers to manage various tasks, including answering phones. If there aren’t enough volunteers available at a given time, it could lead to delays in answering calls.
  4. Technical Issues: Occasionally, technical problems such as phone system malfunctions or internet outages can prevent charities from answering calls promptly.
  5. Call Screening: Charities may have call screening procedures in place to prioritize urgent or important calls over general inquiries. This could lead to longer wait times for non-urgent callers.
  6. Office Hours: Like any organization, charities typically have specific operating hours. If you call outside of these hours, you may not get an immediate response.
  7. Staff Training or Meetings: Staff may be engaged in training sessions or meetings, temporarily unavailable to answer calls

If we have a situation where people employed by charities are too busy doing fund raising to cover the costs of running the organisation, then this is a problem… When we put money into a collection box or donate online for example, our expectation is that the money is going to help those in need. In my mind, this takes the form of people actually being there for each other and having products or covering the expenses of travels and other costs incurred with supporting those in need.

It’s sad to say that if a charity is only able to raise enough cash to support its staff and other business charges, then it’s not helping those in need. All we are effectively doing is giving money to keep an organisation in business and in my opinion this is not right.

 I met up with someone yesterday who has been going though some rough times; I was sad for them but also disappointed that despite calling the Samaritans twice over the past month, no one had answered the phone when they called.  This is someone who has suffered physical and mental abuse; they shake every time someone unexpectedly knocks on their door and despite this, could not get to speak to anyone for help. Someone at Talking Therapies has given them some leaflets, which probably contain great information, but what is missing is that human contact that we all crave. For some, just picking up a leaflet is too much effort.

When we are in need of help and have the courage to reach out (yes, admitting you need help is not an easy thing to do), and yet cannot reach another human being to speak to, it’s another rejection when we are at our lowest.
This needs to change…


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