Website and social media help Pembrokeshire charity to tackle poverty – #povertyinwales
Pembrokeshire Action to Combat Hardship (PATCH) wanted to make more use of the Internet to improve the way it communicated with the general public but particularly with stakeholders, clients and service users. Without good use of the Internet, many voluntary organisations lose supporters and funding.
PATCH aims to relieve hardship and poverty in the communities it serves. The organisation has set up a “Basics Banks” scheme of non-perishable food, clothing and toiletries, donated by churches, and various other organisations or individuals. The scheme makes it possible to provide for the needs of an individual or family in a crisis situation. Working on a referral-only basis from outside agencies, including health workers, local support agencies, Social Services and others, Basics Bank Vouchers are given to those who are in an emergency situation.
Communities 2.0 supported PATCH to develop a new website www.patchcharity.org.uk, which staff have been trained to maintain. PATCH was also supported to create and develop a Facebook page, which staff have also been trained on.
PATCH has attracted new supporters and donors since its website and Facebook page were launched. Both resources are also being used by referral agencies, when deciding where to send people for support. Both resources were said to have had a significant impact on Christmas Appeals that have happened since, in terms of the amount of goods they were able to provide to people in need.
PATCH told Communities 2.0 that they wished they had approached the project much sooner, as the support they have received has been invaluable to the organisation. Staff members appreciate that they need to continue to build on their IT skills in other areas, as well as the website and social media. The organisation’s co-ordinator, Tracy Olin said their online presence has made a real difference: “People offer donations having seen us online. Our web presence has also helped in terms of general publicity, profile raising and increasing awareness. People find us quite easily through search engines. We’re using social media to talk to people about our work, particularly when we’re running short of certain items”.
This is an example of how Communities 2.0 is supporting the Welsh Government’s Tackling Poverty Action Plan.