External Evaluation Report launched
Hundreds of Essex families have turned to SNAP for support since the UK was plunged into lockdown over a year ago.
Like many other charities facing soaring demand for their services since the pandemic began, SNAP has been a consistent and reassuring presence.
SNAP’s Helpline has been busier than ever and the charity’s team of dedicated Family Support Advisers have responded to 7,358 calls and emails and registered more than 300 new families in the year following 23rd March 2020.
And the contribution made by the Helpline and SNAP’s Face-to-Face sessions has been praised in an external evaluation, funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.
“Both parents and children are understandably struggling during the current exceptional circumstances and the challenges they face are varied,” says Liza Bowring, SNAP Family Support Adviser.
“Many of our families are at high risk or vulnerable to Covid due to a range of existing conditions as well as immune deficiencies. These families are dealing with extended self-isolation and are having to deal with the practicalities and worries around this.
“Some families have experienced the effects of coronavirus first-hand, with members of their family becoming ill and some even being hospitalised. Most are facing mental health difficulties or feeling isolated. We are doing whatever we can to help by listening, advising, sharing SNAP’s resources and signposting to other organisations we know are also providing assistance during this crisis.”
For SNAP parent Ruth knowing the SNAP Team is on the end of the phone has been invaluable.
“The pandemic has overlapped with an extraordinarily challenging time for our little family, stemming from a decline in an area of my daughter’s health.”
“We have had to spend even more energy than usual advocating for our precious little girl, and that takes its emotional toll. Talking to SNAP on the phone at a time that we most needed compassion and care felt like a lifeline. I feel so grateful because SNAP understand that what happens in our daughter’s life – all the joy and wonder, but also at times sadness and immense stress – also happens in ours.”
“Offering Helpline support means I can often be a first line responder to families who have taken the huge step to contact SNAP,” says Liza. “I am very aware of how daunting this can be and that it often takes a great deal of courage and a leap of faith to reach out for support. I want to make it as easy as possible, from the outset, for parents and carers to talk to me and know that I am genuinely there to support and listen. I hope parents feel empowered and less isolated knowing they have the SNAP Helpline available to them.”
SNAP’s Helpline and Face-to-Face sessions were the focus of an external evaluation funded by The National Lottery Community Fund and conducted by evaluation specialists Eastside Primetimers. Based on a wealth of feedback from parents and carers, the research tells a clear and consistent story of the real and lasting positive impact that SNAP has on family life.
The external evaluator for the report, Neil Smith, found that SNAP occupies a pivotal role in the lives of the families it supports.
“Praise for SNAP is consistently very high. A parent and carer will typically describe their experience as essential, vital and lifesaving. They uniformly report there is no other service like it, and even for those families who are newer to SNAP there is an immediate impact and a ‘change of trajectory’ as one parent put it.”
“Huge thanks to National Lottery players and The National Lottery Community Fund, whose support has been instrumental in helping SNAP support local families,” said Sara Clifton, SNAP’s Statutory and Trusts Manager.
“Thanks to Neil Smith for helping us evidence the value and impact of these services and a huge thank you to the SNAP Team, stakeholders and more than 300 remarkable and inspiring families – your thoughtful input is very much appreciated.”
SNAP’s Helpline is available to registered and new families – Monday to Thursday 9.00am to 5.00pm and Friday 9.00am to 4.00pm. 01277 211300 or by emailing [email protected]