The interesting thing about the change in how we are working is that technology has allowed us to keep in touch even more with our service-users. Before this, we mostly met face-to-face but now it has become the norm to connect remotely. With regards to my new working environment, there have been a couple of stand-out moments that I’ve noted since the pandemic has occurred. I’ve been running a support group online with service-users where we laugh, sing and connect. I didn’t expect so much connection through technology!
I’ve also been offering emotional support through video counselling. Trauma recovery is such an intimate and personal journey that can be very fragile if the environment is not safe enough and if we are deprived of intimate soul-to-soul contact. Trauma and wounds cannot recover in isolation. Direct Provision centres are more often than not in remote locations and there is very little emotional security provided. You have no choice with whom you share your room, with whom you share the kitchen. Video calls and headphones can offer a safe place for someone who is far away from face-to-face services, sometimes isolated in the middle of hundreds of strangers. It creates a safe and secure environment where service-users can continue their process of recovery while being in contact with a counsellor.
When we return to work as normal after the pandemic, I hope that I can offer more video calls as part of my casework as well as more online group support for those who cannot come to Ruhama’s office. I would also like to offer video counselling for those who cannot access face-to-face counselling