The British Red Cross is ready to help in Essex during this local lockdown and I am reaching out to offer our support and resources during this time. As an emergency response organisation, we have developed a range of support services and resources, to help and support our local communities, who are facing increasingly challenging times during the COVID 19 pandemic.
Here you will find a useful guide to the support we can provide. Please pass on the attached document any colleagues or partners who may want to talk to us about how we can work together to help those most vulnerable and likely to be worst affected.
Since the outbreak began, our staff and volunteers across the UK have carried out more than a quarter of a million acts of kindness, from delivering food and medicine, to taking people home from hospital, to providing welfare checks and psychosocial support.
The support and resources we are able to offer are:
Our National Covid-19 Support Line – 0808 196 3651 – 10am – 6pm daily (see attached flyer) has helped more than 10,000 callers since April and our volunteers are currently receiving around 600 calls per week nationwide. Our free and confidential support line can:
- Help with practical information and advice
- Provide emotional support
- Connect people with support in their area
- Organise food and prescription deliveries to vulnerable households
Please share this flyer or just the number with anyone you feel could be helped by the support line. If we identify any further support needs while speaking with callers, these will be referred back to the British Red Cross Covid-19 Tactical Cell – a team of staff and volunteers who will contact people to give further support or refer on to another agency that is better placed to help.
We have a hardship fund and cash assistance programme to support people without access to money. This can provide people with a cash grant of £120 per month for 3 months, up to a maximum of 3 persons per household. It is a very limited intervention designed to help those most financially impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. For a list of the qualifying criteria, please see the Hardship Fund Website.
Cash Transfer programmes require a level of bureaucracy which can be time-consuming and labour intensive for Local Authorities to meet. In order to be as useful as possible, we have simplified the process and are taking organisations on as referral partners, thereby taking most of the bureaucracy on ourselves. We would like to bring local partnerson board as a referral partner and the Hardship Fund team are standing by to fast-track the process for you – please email [email protected] for more information or to begin the process.
We have many volunteers in the Essex area who are ready, willing and able to support vulnerable or isolated people in the area. Some are DBS checked, others are not. The non-DBS checked volunteers can help with:
- Food sorting and delivery to vulnerable households
- Telephone ‘check-in and chats’ with lonely and isolated people
- Leaflet drops in partnership with Essex County Council and our emergency response partners
The DBS checked volunteers can help with everything listed above and:
- Prescription delivery to vulnerable households
- Patient transport services
- Welfare checks
If you have a request which falls outside the listed activities or if you are otherwise unsure whether we can support you, please get in touch by emailing [email protected] .
Accessing British Red Cross Support
We hope that these additional services help to support the most vulnerable and those in the most need. If you are interested in accessing any of these services, or you have another request for support that you’d like to run by us, you can do so by completing this digital form and providing a brief overview of your need.
Our Covid-19 tactical cell will then be in touch to either gather further information, accept your request or forward it to another voluntary agency who are better placed to help.
We look forward to working with you in these challenging times.
All the best, Louise Palk.
Director for South East, Independent Living & Crisis Response
* British Red Cross | 78-80 Walton Road| Woking | GU21 5DW