Dublin, Ireland, 13th September 2023 – Enterprise communications company DigitalWell has partnered with Meath Women’s Refuge and Support Services, it was announced today at the official release of the charity’s annual Impact Report.
The partnership will see DigitalWell upgrade digital communications and deliver a Freefone Helpline for the charity, which was funded by the Bank of Ireland Begin Together fund earlier this year. The new free-of-charge line (1800 464646) will be available 24/7, 365 days a year, for any woman or family member concerned about domestic violence or abuse in the Meath area.
By embracing technology that will improve access to support, Meath Women’s Refuge aims to address a significant demand for services across the county, as highlighted in its new 2022 report.
Revealing a record number of women accessing domestic violence services in the county, last year, the charity supported 539 women and 131 children in Meath who experienced violence and abuse from their partner; an 11% increase in refuge accommodation provision on the previous year.
The report was launched at an event held at the Bank of Ireland in Meath today, where the Minister for Justice Helen McEntee; Alan O Rourke, Branch Manager, Bank of Ireland; Sinead Smith, CEO, Meath Women’s Refuge & Support Services; and Ross Murray, CEO DigitalWell were all in attendance.
Speaking at the launch, Smith said: “We strive to ensure our services are fully accessible to every woman who needs them and are delighted today to launch our new Freefone Helpline 1800 464646 which is 100% free of charge and open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Bank of Ireland Begin Together Fund have generously sponsored the new helpline number and we know it will make a difference to families struggling to cope with the cost of living.”
DigitalWell’s Ross Murray expressed his delight at Meath Women’s Refuge selecting their telephony and 1800 number services: “The organisation’s decision to implement DigitalWell 360 showcases their commitment to leveraging cutting-edge technology to support their invaluable work. This partnership reflects the trust and confidence Meath Women’s Refuge has placed in DigitalWell to enhance their operations and provide essential services to those in need.”
McEntee commented: “Last year we published our Zero Tolerance plan, the third national strategy on domestic, sexual and gender-based violence. As Minister for Justice, I am absolutely focused on the implementation of the plan to improve services for victims and tackle domestic, sexual and gender-based violence in Meath and across the country. This strategy gives renewed focus and direction on how the State will tackle what is a huge societal issue over the next five years. We will continue to prioritise increased domestic violence services and more refuge spaces in Meath, and across the country.”
Alan O’Rourke, Manager Meath North, Bank of Ireland, said: “Bank of Ireland’s Begin Together Fund helps to make our communities stronger by providing grants to future-focused projects. Working with The Community Foundation for Ireland, we support not-for-profit organisations to improve the financial, physical or mental wellbeing of the communities they serve across the island of Ireland. We are delighted to be able to support our community in County Meath by providing funding for the establishment of a new Freefone Helpline for Meath Women’s Refuge & Support Services.”
Meath Women’s Refuge and Support Services also highlighted the significant impact of donations and fundraising last year. 164 women were able to participate in counselling programmes in 2022, which were funded through donations and grants.
“The reality is that donations are still critical every year to run our refuge and services building in Navan. The generosity we receive across Meath is vital and we would like to sincerely thank each and every person who supports us.” added Smith.
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