We are all struggling to come to terms with the significant impact Coronavirus is having on our day to day lives, our health, financial security and wellbeing. Whilst the impacts of this virus will be felt by us all, there are many vulnerable groups in our society who may be impacted to a greater extent – the elderly, those with underlying health conditions, those living in poverty and the homeless – to name just a few.
The Trussell Trust supports more than 1,200 food banks across the UK providing emergency food and support to people locked in poverty. Last year food banks in their network provided a record 1.6 million food supplies to people in crisis. Over a third of all emergency food parcels distributed by the Trussell Trust network go to children. With schools now closed indefinitely and an anticipated rise in people in financial crisis demand at UK food banks is set to increase. Your donations will help provide emergency food parcels for those most in need.
Fareshare is the UK’s national network of charitable food redistributors, made up of 17 independent organisations. Together, they take good quality surplus food from right across the food industry and get it to almost 11,000 frontline charities and community groups. During this time of crisis help them get food to the most vulnerable.
The Hygiene Bank is a movement of people who believe being clean is not a privilege or a luxury. Our network of hygiene banks exist to support people in crisis and those struggling on low income, while at the same time working to inspire social change. Hygiene poverty is shaming, humiliating and excluding can result in social isolation. Many of our banks are starting to run out of essentials as people stockpile goods and donations – in terms of unused products or funds are needed.
The Children’s Society work with children and young people who feel scared, unloved and unable to cope. In the UK today 4 million children are affected by poverty. It harms children’s health, it damages their future and it damages our society as a whole. A challenge like Coronavirus means young people may need support in new and different ways, particularly as schools across the UK are closed indefinitely. The Children’s Society wants to be there for them and needs our help.
Action for Children protect and support children and young people, providing practical and emotional care and support. Last year they helped more than 387,000 children and their families across the UK. As Coronavirus puts increased pressure on families, Action for Children is working to increase online support for parents.
Age UK exist to help older people when they need it most providing companionship, advice and support for older people, many of whom feel they have no one to turn to. With the government’s recommendation for social distancing for people over 70, Age UK’s services have never been in more demand. Calls to their advice line have already increased by 40% and this is expected to rise. In communities across the UK, older people are relying on their local Age UK to provide practical support with food supplies and much more.
The Silver Line is the only free confidential helpline providing information, friendship and advice to older people, open 24 hours a day. It receives around 10,500 calls every week with 53% of callers saying they have literally no-one else to speak to. They also offer weekly telephone friendship from a friendly and supportive volunteer, called a Silver Line Friend. With the elderly self-isolating for months The Silver Line can provide a vital service to combat loneliness.
Mental Health UK brings together over 40 years of expertise from four national mental health charities to provide advice, information and support. 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem and the uncertainty and anxiety caused by Coronavirus and the potential impacts of loneliness from social distancing and self-isolation will increase demand on mental health services.
Mind UK provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. Self-isolation and social distancing may be particularly difficult for many people already struggling with their mental health. Demand for support and advice will increase as many of us experience increased anxiety over the coming months.
Shelter helps millions of people every year struggling with bad housing or homelessness through advice, support and legal services. Shelter must be there for those facing housing issues because of coronavirus. Whilst they can no longer deliver as much advice in person, they are increasing their telephone and online advice services. They need to act quickly to get services up and running for households facing emergencies.
Macmillan Cancer Support provide invaluable support to people diagnosed with cancer. They offer emotional, physical and financial support from the moment of diagnosis, through treatment and beyond. People with cancer may be at a higher risk of infection and Macmillan are on hand to provide advice that will help reduce the risk of getting Coronavirus. They’re also there for emotional help and support too. An invaluable lifeline for those living with cancer and for their families too.
Asthma UK works to stop asthma attacks and ultimately cure asthma by funding world leading research and scientists. They campaign for change and support people with asthma to reduce their risk of a potentially life threatening asthma attack. Right now they are experiencing exceptionally high demand from people seeking support and advice as a result of Coronavirus.
NHS Trusts provide health services for the local community and beyond. These are funded from central government taxes. There are however, many ways in which voluntary donations can provide that little bit more. These include new pieces of medical equipment, little extras for patients and specialist training to enhance their ability to deliver up to date care. Consider supporting your local NHS Trust right now when they are under enormous pressure!
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