e-Rueca, a virtual support for citizens at risk of exclusion
La Rueca Asociación
A virtual social center that provides information, guidance, and support to individuals facing social exclusion through a multi-channel online connection.
e-Rueca is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and is a completely free service. The application is designed as a physical care center, a building with multiple floors and service rooms where users can find and interact with teams of professionals ready to help them, provide support, and offer information. The more than 10 technicians involved in this project provide user support in various intervention fields. Of the eight rooms that e-Rueca makes available to the user, five are dedicated to direct social and psychological care: the Psychology Room, the Work Room, the Legal and Immigration Room, the Social Care Room, and the Youth Room; in these rooms, they offer everything from legal advice for foreigners to mediation. They also provide answers to frequently asked questions related to each intervention area and a section of resources in text and video format. With these five rooms, the different needs for accompaniment and support of people in situations of social exclusion are covered, always taking into account their specific circumstances.
The remaining three rooms are: the Reception, which provides information about the project and its goals; the Exhibition Room, where tools and resources (hobbies, games, tests, infographics, etc.) are collected with the aim of raising awareness about situations and groups in social vulnerability; and the auditorium, a meeting space for third-sector professionals that includes updates related to online training, webinars, or events that the organization makes available to professionals.
Communication between users and professionals is possible through various channels. The most direct is instant chat, but it is also possible to make inquiries via SMS, WhatsApp, email, or video calls. If the user requests it, the possibility of face-to-face assistance with a hybrid option is also considered. The team of professionals responds within a maximum of 48 hours. Thus, in a simple way and through mobile devices, tablets, and computers, vulnerable individuals can contact and receive the attention they need quickly and efficiently.
Characteristics of innovation
Collaborators / Funders
Comunidad de Madrid, La Rueca Asociación
e-Rueca is an initiative of La Rueca Asociación, a non-profit organization. The project was born in March 2020, in the midst of the crisis stemming from Covid-19, which exacerbated the risk and exclusion faced by part of the population. In this context, e-Rueca emerged as an immediate response to address the growing needs of people in situations of social exclusion through a virtual platform for assistance and support. The initiative aimed to expand its influence and impact. It quickly transitioned from being a physical center in a specific neighborhood to a virtual platform, reflecting the acknowledgment of a hybrid future where virtuality and in-person interactions intertwine. The purpose was to overcome the access barriers faced by people at risk of exclusion when trying to access social services, such as issues related to schedule conflicts, caregiving responsibilities, work commitments, and economic aspects.
Since its launch in March 2020, the virtual social center has experienced significant growth. With over 160.000 visits to the portal, e-Rueca has received more than 30.000 inquiries and has successfully engaged with over 50.000 users. These figures demonstrate its effectiveness and the demand from the public.
The initiative has also gained notable recognition in the field of social services. As a result, it was a finalist in the Social Work Awards in 2020. Additionally, it has successfully presented at various congresses and fairs related to its scope of action.