Marriage Care is delighted to announce that Allchurches Trust is supporting their ‘Delivering Differently’ project with a grant of £15,800.
The Delivering Differently project aims to streamline Marriage Care’s online booking process for its relationship counselling and marriage preparation. Marriage Care has had to change the website to reflect its new online delivery methods. All face-to-face services have had to stop because of Covid-19 regulations.
Delivering Differently will also enable Marriage Care to fully train its volunteer relationship counsellors and marriage preparation facilitators in how best to work with clients online. Currently, only 72 of the 120 trained volunteer counsellors are able to work with clients online. Training will enable a large proportion of these to resume their work, helping to clear the backlog of cases that has been building up during Lockdown.
The new system will also facilitate bookings for the training of counsellors.
The grant was made by Allchurches Trust from the Hope Beyond grants programme which aims to enable Christian charities to meet changing needs within their communities, helping them and the communities they support to adapt to the challenges and opportunities presented by the Coronavirus pandemic. The grant from ACT will cover half the cost of the project.
“This generous grant from Allchurches Trust couldn’t come at a better time for Marriage Care – we’ve seen a huge rise in the number of people coming to us for counselling and, at this time, the only way we can help them is online and via webcam. Delivering Differently will enable us to improve our booking process, offering the people we are supporting a more streamlined process and a smoother journey,” said Mark Molden, the Chief Executive of Marriage Care today.
Chloe Ewen, Grants Officer for Allchurches Trust, said, “The pressures of COVID have put a lot of strain on individuals and relationships, and the counselling services that Marriage Care provide are more vital than ever. We’re delighted that our Hope Beyond funding can help them to adapt and digitalise their services so that they can support as many people as possible through these difficult times.”
Lockdown has put many couples under unprecedented strain and Marriage Care has seen a 142% increase in requests for counselling this year. Although Marriage Care was already moving towards offering online services before Coronavirus hit, the crisis precipitated the move and the work that had already been done meant that Marriage Care was able to respond very quickly to the crisis.
When relationships break down, people struggle to find affordable accommodation and it can be harder to get or keep a job, so people quickly become poorer. Under such pressures, people are less able to support their dependants both financially and emotionally. Children from fractured families are twice as likely to have behavioural problems and more liable to suffer depression, turn to drugs and alcohol and perform worse at school and have a far higher risk of living in relative income poverty. It is these facts which motivate Marriage Care to try to help keep families safe, happy and together by helping couples to live their relationships well.
Although a 2014 Government report showed that £1 spent on relationship counselling saves the Government £11 in the long-run (by avoiding family break-up and thus people becoming unemployed and homeless and children going into care) Marriage Care now receives no Government funding. Furthermore, because of the restrictions on weddings this year, income from Marriage Preparation has albeit dried up.
Marriage Care hopes to resume face-to-face counselling at its centres in April 2021 alongside its existing online offering.
Marriage Care has been helping people understand and improve the quality of their relationships for over 70 years. The charity provides a donation-only counselling service as well as pre-marriage sessions that enable couples to build a lasting future together; delivered by dedicated, professionally trained volunteers in over 300 community settings nationwide. For further information go to marriagecare.org.uk or to request an interview please contact Mark Molden – firstname.lastname@example.org or 07791 400 028
Allchurches Trust is one of the UK’s largest grant-making charities. Our grants further our charitable objectives of promoting the Christian faith and other charitable causes. We welcome applications from all parts of the UK and Ireland, particularly from areas of social and economic deprivation. Allchurches funds projects that tackle homelessness, poverty and social exclusion. They also support the repair, restoration and wider community use of churches and cathedrals of all denominations.