- Advertisement -

PROUD SUPPORTER

Monday, 21 September 2020

CHARITY TODAY AWARDS

Charity sets up COVID-19 support line to provide listening ear

- Advertisement -
BRITISH Red Cross has set up a free phone line to help people facing a range of issues due to coronavirus and the lockdown period.

Members of the ‘psychosocial and mental health’ team at the British Red Cross will be on-hand to provide practical and emotional support, for anything from accessing food or medicines to dealing with loneliness.

The Red Cross coronavirus support line telephone number is 0808 196 3651 and is open daily from 10am to 6pm. The service is free and completely confidential.

Norman McKinley, British Red Cross executive director of UK operations said:

“We want to make sure that people are getting the help they need during the isolation period. We’re especially worried about those who may not be in contact with organisations or support networks; those who are vulnerable and could ‘fall through the cracks’. Our volunteers are taking calls from people who are struggling to get hold of medicines or food – especially those who are shielding at the moment.

“Our volunteers are all trained in psycho-social skills. They can provide a listening ear, practical advice and can quickly redirect people to organisations in their local area that can help. Having someone at the end of the phone when you feel most alone can be a lifeline in times like this.”

The Red Cross coronavirus support line will be staffed by experienced Red Cross psychosocial volunteers, many of whom have worked on previous emergency responses. British Red Cross have activated the Support line to help people during the infected blood enquiry, the Grenfell Tower fire and the terror attacks of 2017.

British Red Cross volunteers are already working in communities across the UK to support those made most vulnerable by the coronavirus outbreak, from food distributions to ambulance support and welfare checks.

If you or someone you know needs help, call the free Red Cross coronavirus support line on 0808 196 3651 to speak to a friendly British Red Cross volunteer.

Case study – support line volunteer Chris

Chris, 64, has volunteered and worked for British Red Cross for 35 years and comes from a nursing background. Usually, she would travel overseas to help Brits caught up in emergencies like the Tunisia beach attach in 2015. She also looked after people during the London bombings. Now she is shielding at home to protect her husband, but still able to volunteer for the Red Cross coronavirus support line.

Chris is now doing six shifts a week on the support line as a supervisor and call handler.

Chris said:

“Normally I would have been going out and doing something but I can’t because I’m at home.

“The fact that I am able to be part of this response from home is uplifting and enabling me to play my part. We are using different modes of communication WhatsApp, Zoom, email, telephone, it is a new and exciting but challenging way to form a team and get the job done.

“A lot of the calls are from people who need urgent shopping. They’ve either managed on their store cupboard for a while, and a neighbour has been getting them some milk and bread in the interim, but they haven’t had a proper shop for quite a while.

“We’ve been getting more and more calls recently about urgent medicines because people are running out of medicines or need specialist cancer drugs picking up and delivering to them.

“Some people are ringing just because they’re lonely and want to chat. I had a lovely chat with an older lady about her garden and what she was going to plant and the fact she didn’t have any seeds. So I made some suggestion about where they could get some seeds by post and she went away quite cheery to think that she can probably get some plants and do a little bit in her garden.

“I had one colleague who had somebody on the phone and they’d been trying for two weeks to get their cancer drugs and they now only had two days left of them so I put that through as urgent to our team. There was another person who we felt was very vulnerable and needed some sort of physical visit. We marked that one as well as urgent. So you can flag the really important ones to the team and make sure that they get dealt with as priority cases.”

Volunteers from the support line can refer people to local projects, or contact Red Cross community teams who can help.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Stay Connected

1,362FansLike
1,834FollowersFollow
30,076FollowersFollow
1,200SubscribersSubscribe

Must Read

Revolutionary piece of equipment will support surgeons operating during pandemic

LEEDS Cares funds revolutionary piece of equipment to help support surgeons operating during the pandemic. Leeds Cares has announced that Leeds Teaching Hospitals is now...

New report: How to tackle climate change through community action

THE National Lottery Community Fund has today published a new report sharing learning and insights from recent environmental projects made possible thanks to National...
- Advertisement -

Employment News

Samaritans appoints Keith Leslie as new Chair of Trustees

THE leading suicide prevention charity in the UK and ROI has appointed Keith Leslie as the new Chair of Trustees at Samaritans. Keith joins Samaritans...

The Big Issue makes two new appointments

THE Big Issue is expanding its reporting team with the appointment of a new Digital Editor and the newly created role of Digital Producer. Alastair...

New asbestos-related cancer nurse specialist appointed for South Tyneside and Sunderland

JOANNE Anderson has been appointed as a new Mesothelioma UK Clinical Nurse Specialist at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust. Joanne will be...

Related News

Cardiff dementia researchers supported by South Wales Freemasons

RESEARCH into a crucial protein linked to the development of Alzheimer's has been supported by a £76,000 grant from South Wales Freemasons. The grant is...

£25m fund to support the Arts announced by the Garfield Weston Foundation

THE Weston family are launching a new £25m fund to support the cultural sector as it attempts to recover following the impact of COVID-19....

The Burdett Trust for Nursing awards grant to Mesothelioma UK

INDEPENDENT charitable trust, The Burdett Trust for Nursing is donating a £10,000 grant to Mesothelioma UK, the national asbestos-related cancer charity. The funding will...

“MS turned my ‘perfect life’ into a living nightmare,” says gold-medalist Stephanie Millward MBE

PARALYMPIC gold medallist Stephanie Millward MBE will be swimming 100 kilometres to raise funds for the MS Society. The 39-year-old, who has multiple sclerosis (MS),...

End of an era for Cheshire Charity Chief

LEADING Cheshire Charity Active Cheshire has formally announced the departure of their long-serving CEO, Anne Boyd. Anne has led the Charity for 8 years, transforming,...
- Advertisement -
X