At the age of 17 I knew there was something that had changed about my Auntie. The things she was saying didn’t make sense; It’s as if overnight she had suddenly started to see the world very differently to how she used to.
I felt like I had lost my Auntie and things got progressively worse for her.
As a strong family unit, we tried to support her every way we could both within the family and through locating services that supported people’s mental health. But services were very hard to come by and we struggled to find her the right support to help her quickly enough. Because of this Auntie was sectioned under the Mental Health Act and it was long time before I started to see glimpses of my Auntie again…that is, my real Auntie of old.
Fast forward 32 years and it struck me that its much the same today as it was then.
Services are hard to come by and for those services we do know about they often only come into play when the person has got to their most critical point. But this time I could do something about it as now I am a Company Director of a Birmingham Social Enterprise that has, through the development of social media and I.T. evolution, developed a way of linking people who are struggling to cope with services that can best meet their needs.
I got the idea for a solution to seamlessly linking individuals with support services when I realised the number of people who would carry the Supermarket Key Fobs on their person. By marrying the key-fob with a QR code which took the user straight to a local directory of intervention services and direct telephone call opportunities, I had found a way of discreetly and almost instantly, linking individuals with a mass of services that could help them in a range of areas.
Society is getting smart – so should the way we provide access to support in society. It was a case of no more wasted paper or out of date information.
The Waiting Room Resource Key and The Waiting Room Directory (TWR) housed within our Urbrum Website is gathering momentum in respect of demand locally including the Charities sector, the Local Authority, Police, Probation, HMP Birmingham, West Midlands Fire Service, Jaguar Land-Rover, Educational establishments and the local NHS.
Further interest outside Birmingham has escalated with Public Sector and Private Sector Organisations across the West Midlands and further seeing the benefits of this virtual one stop shop for Health and Wellbeing approach – being right at your fingertips and easy to bring to other parts of the country.
Recent reports concerning the NHS, Social Services, Mental Health Services, Charities, suicide and self-harm rates, the welfare state, debt, domestic violence and abuse, housing, sexual health and social isolation tells us that this approach has come at just the right time – this simple yet effective life changing intervention where communities are both informed and empowered to find solutions, is one big positive step forward to meet the challenge of helping people to best help themselves in an ever more turbulent climate of austerity.
In less than 6 months we have had 10,000 hits with over a third of all visitors coming back for more information. TWR keys are proving to be a vital way of ensuring people get in touch with local services when they need them.
TWR is an intervention in its own right
Want to know more?
Visit our website at www.the-waitingroom.org
If you are based in Birmingham and want to add your service to one or more of the 24 Life Domain Areas then get in touch and if you aren't based in Birmingham but believe TWR would work for your organisation or your area then please get in touch.