Case study: Creating an easy to use Listener Guide for the Samaritans and the Prison Service

Through its Listener Scheme in prisons, Samaritans  provides  emotional support to prisoners who are struggling to cope, are self harming or are feeling suicidal.

Guidance for Samaritans volunteers that run and support Listener schemes was contained in a hard copy manual (the Guide to Prisons) which was cumbersome to update, difficult to navigate and not in a format that made it easy to share with prison staff. As a result, over the years, volunteers referred to it  less and less frequently meaning that consistency in delivery of the Listener scheme across the prison estate was being compromised.

Cherryleaf were tasked with converting the manual to a fully searchable, easy to use, online resource that would link to other relevant information on the Samaritans intranet and could also be made available on the Prison Service intranet. The new online Guide to the Listener scheme means that both Samaritans volunteers and prison staff have access to the same, up to date, comprehensive set of guidelines and information.

Maria Foster, Samaritans’ Prison Support Officer said:

“For Samaritans volunteers, having the information available on the intranet rather than in a manual in their branches, means they can find out what they need to know at any time; the search facility and page style ensures that information can be located and read quickly and easily.

For prison staff, this is the first time they will be able to see all of the Samaritans guidelines for running the Listener scheme; this will help to further develop their understanding of the scheme and will support them in facilitating the operation of the scheme in their prison.

Samaritans is delighted with the result of the project;

Cherryleaf understood the brief and very quickly got to grips with the subject matter, turning a cumbersome manual into a streamlined user friendly resource.”

 

The Samaritans provides confidential emotional support for people who are experiencing feelings of distress, despair or suicidal thoughts. You can talk to them, any time, on 08457 909090 (UK), 1850 60 90 90 (Republic of Ireland) or jo@samaritans.org .

Case Study: Samaritans procedures clarified and put online

Samaritans is a charity that provides confidential emotional support 24/7 to those experiencing despair, distress or suicidal feelings. The service is provided by over 20,000 volunteers from 202 branches.

The Samaritans Operations Manual explains in detail the policies and processes which volunteers must follow when delivering the service. This new online manual will replace four paper manuals and will be accessible in every branch by every volunteer. Cherryleaf has provided conversion and editing services so that Samaritans can make the manual available online through its intranet.

Miriam Piterkova, Samaritans’ Operations Officer, said:

“The Samaritans Operations Manual will be one of the most important resources volunteers use to support them to deliver our service. For the first time, all the information they need will be in one place. This will make it so much easier for volunteers to find what they need quickly.”

The manual will be written in such a way that volunteers can skim through it, or read every detail. It will be stored on the Samaritans intranet and be fully searchable. It is written in plain English and version-controlled, so it will be always up-to-date.

The new Operations Manual has been uploaded onto the Samaritans intranet, and has been reviewed by Regional Officers and the Quality and Visitors group. It is now being reviewed by the branches prior to its official launch later this year.

The Samaritans are also in discussions with Cherryleaf about turning other manuals into online resources.

Feedback on our 1st Documentation Managers/Leaders mentoring meeting

We hosted the first of our peer-group mentoring meetings on Tuesday, and I pleased to say the event went as well as we could have expected. We’ve attended and hosted sessions for other entrepreneurs, but this was our first experience of running such an event for documentation managers.  The interactions and the nature of the outcomes were the same as we’ve seen before.

The feedback from the participants has been positive too:

The whole afternoon was thoroughly enjoyable as well as informative. This is a unique forum for sharing experience and ideas. It’s the only forum where we can discuss management issues specific to our profession.

Regards,
Jacquie

Firstly, thank you so much for setting up the meeting – your efforts, and Ginny’s, are very much appreciated.

As feedback, I offer my thoughts and comments:

For the first session, I thought the topic was quite challenging. Thanks to your skilled moderation and guidance, and the terrific participation of everyone, some really significant and valuable perspectives were tabled.
It may surprise you that, although I am removed from the situation that was discussed, I found it surprisingly beneficial and therapeutic to hear what everyone had to say.
Hearing the wisdom and thoughts of yourself and fellow communicators cannot be overvalued. The effect of having a safe container and the elimination of any sense of isolation enabled healthy and open discussion and the resulting stream of delving questions were very thought-provoking.

The venue was ideal, too.

Heartfelt thanks and congratulations on an excellent idea executed with skill. Please consider this a great success!

I look forward to the next meeting.
Thanks again and best regards,

John

Thank you for organising the Peer Group Meeting yesterday. I would definitely recommend these meetings to Documentation Managers/Leaders. As advertised it provided a safe forum for the subject to share their issues and receive recommendations and suggestions from a diverse group of peers.

Kind regards
Amanda

“Many thanks to Cherryleaf for setting up this Documentation Peers Group. It is a wonderful opportunity to discuss professional ideas and issues amongst a group of like-minded individuals!”

Cheers, Briana

 

It was great to meet other documentation professionals and to discuss a real issue facing the industry. Much more fun that arguing about full stops in bulleted lists.

Mark

 
We are considering setting up additional Mastermind groups – in the UK and mainland Europe – so contact us if this would be of interest to you.

Potentially these may also expand to Melbourne in Australia and Raleigh-Durham NC in the USA – again, contact us if this would be of interest to you.

Quote of the month

We’ve just received this nice testimonial from a client:

“I had some basic instructions for my new online application, Opportunity Matrix™, but absolutely no idea how to turn them into a proper help system. Carol at Cherryleaf was able to take my rough notes and turn them into a professional Help file.

She worked through the application, suggesting appropriate changes where I was making assumptions that would have left users confused. Once we were both happy with the file, Carol liaised very effectively with the programmer to make sure that the Help system worked perfectly right from the start.

The information and guidance from Cherryleaf was always top notch, so I always knew exactly where the project was, and what the (quite reasonable) budget needed to be. I shall have no hesitation in using Cherryleaf again, and in recommending them.”

Andrew Horder, CEO, Opportunity Matrix™.