Racing Welfare Out of hours at crisis! Connect Assist provide consultancy, then service.

Brief:

Founded as a charity in 2000, Racing Welfare provides assistance for stud, stable and support staff working in British horseracing. It supports an average of 800 people each year, offering support and advice on injuries, accidents, benefits and pensions as well as providing over 160 units of housing accommodation.

Our brief was to support the organisation’s current welfare staff who were feeling overstretched due to having to be available out-of-hours 24/7 to support their clients. The large housing offering means users often need out-of-hours support for housing issues, such as repairs or extra assistance.

Solution:

As a consultant in user support, we worked very closely with the organisation’s welfare team to address the current problems in the way support was provided, paying particular attention to out-of-hour periods.

To do this, we conducted an audit reviewing the current ways support was delivered. Initially, we carried out a ‘mystery shopping’ investigation into the charity’s call answering services, where our team posed as potential users. We combined this with interviewing the organisation’s current welfare team about the pressure of being available out-of-hours.

We also invited the welfare team to visit our specialist contact centre to show them an example of best practice and ways of doing things differently, in addition to interviewing users to analyse whether the current welfare system was supporting them effectively.

After this in-depth consultation, we advised how the organisation can work more efficiently and support its users better.

Following our audit, we began to provide services for the charity on an incremental basis. Firstly, we managed the organisation’s out-of-hours calls and are currently providing consultation on the charity’s website and how this can be used effectively to empower users to self-help. This will again help to ease the workload of call handlers, allowing them to focus their attention on those most in need of services, who may require more personal help and support.

Results:

Although we have only been working with the charity since August 2014, we have already carried out a detailed analysis of its current welfare support system and now provide out-of-hours support.

A key part of the transfer was understanding the way Racing Welfare provides support, so that we could tailor our services to match the charity’s individual way of offering care. This continues to be important so that the service offering is kept consistent between the charity’s welfare team and our specialist contact centre advisors.

We will continue to work very closely with the charity to identify further opportunities to enhance its support offering and improve staff satisfaction levels.

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