Richmond Foundation needs funds and volunteers

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Richmond Foundation has experienced an increase in demand for the services it offers while at the same it is experiencing a lack of funds.

During a press conference on Saturday morning, CEO Stephania Dimech Sant said that everyone was speaking about mental health issues due to the global coronavirus pandemic. She explained that the outbreak led to an increase in the demand for the services offered by the foundation however the foundation has experienced a decrease in demand for those services which the foundation would generate income from such as training.

Dimech Sant highlighted that the company was in the process of adapting its operations to the current situation. Some of the services will be offered online.

The foundation will need around €500,000 to cover its expenses this year.

Dimech Sant said that the Foundation assists around 2,000 individuals annually when asked by

Chief Operations Officer Daniela Calleja Bitar explained that the 1770 helpline was introduced around two years ago. Before the coronavirus outbreak, the organisation would receive 600 calls in three months, Calleja Bitar noted that the same amount of calls was received in a week.

Richmond Foundation procured protective personal equipment for its staff and adapted its residences to allow for isolation rooms in case a resident tests positive. Calleja Bitar explained that vulnerable individuals have been under lockdown for three weeks and this has increased the foundation’s expenses.

Research has shown that youths are among those who are feeling most isolated during the global pandemic. The research has shown that the elderly were more hopeful and positive about the current situation.

The foundation said that it will continue to make its efforts to ensure that the clients benefit from its services. It launched a public appeal urging individuals and companies to support its operations. It was highlighted that the company needs both funds and volunteers.

Richmond Foundation can be financially supported through the Gift of Therapy. These donations help the foundation continue offering therapy for free to those individuals who lack the means. Donations can be done either via SMS or bank transfer.

Gift of Therapy is not only given to those individuals who do not afford the therapy, but also the foundation’s staff and its residents. Speaking to Calleja Bitar explained that through the Gift of Therapy vulnerable individuals are assisted.

The foundation also invited professionals and others who would like to support the organisation’s work and volunteer. Those who have a degree or relevant experience to help manning 1770 can get in touch with the organisation.

Other volunteers are needed to help with the logistics such as preparing and delivering food for the care homes.

Not all the voluntary work includes leaving one’s home, Dimech Sant replied to a question She added that at present they were assessing the requests while those who would like to volunteer can indicate their preference.

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