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Support: Caring for the Community

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You can find links here about how to care safely for people in the community who are especially in need now.

Webpage update 27th March, 12pm

There is now a national initiative to draw together and coordinate efforts from churches of many different denominations during the coronavirus outbreak: yourneighbour.org

HTB have also developed a resource: loveyourneighbour

For more in depth resources, links and contacts, please do check the Capital Mass website

Food Bank Support

LATEST ADVICE 26th March 2020:   The most recent guidance from Trussell Trust, updated since the lockdown about foodbank operation is here:  https://www.trusselltrust.org/coronavirus-food-banks/

This states:

“food banks can legally continue operating and buildings that host food banks can continue to open for those sessions, provided we follow social distancing rules, because your work qualifies you as key workers ‘caring for the vulnerable’. 

However each local foodbank will need to decide whether they are in a position to open, so you’re urged to cotact your local foodbank to find out their arrangements.

The general need for foodbanks, across the Diocese is:

  • food donations
  • healthy volunteers
  • drivers with vehicles to do deliveries

A link is here to a list of foodbanks in the Diocese, how to get in touch and when/where to drop off food.

Charities

Martin Lewis – Know a charity in need? Martin Lewis – Executive Chair of Money Saving Expert – is providing £1,000,000 to give to charities who require support during the COVID-19 crisis. Apply to receive a grant through the link above.

Homelessness

The Diocese of London has released guidance on the provision of homelessness support, following on from the instruction to close all places of worship. It can be found here

Our church runs a drop in centre for homeless people. How do we manage the current situation?

The latest government advice can be found here. Churches may remain open to offer this kind of provision and should follow any updates to government advice

Groundswell have produced Coronavirus advice and planning for people experiencing homelessness.

Homeless Link have put together more information on who is doing what in London to support those who find themselves street homeless during the outbreak – updated 23/3/20.

Housing Justice co-ordinate and support many of the church run night shelter circuits. Their guidance and information was updated 25/3/20.

Financial Distress

Just Finance Foundation – Financial help hub, answering the most common questions and worries about what Coronavirus might mean financially for you, and where to get help.

Capital Mass has also put together links to external resources & tools to support people who are in financial distress due to Coronavirus: view the Capital Mass website.

Mental health

National charities are providing resources to help with your mental health at this time:

Mind.org

Mentalhealth.org

Together Network – this resource is full of useful advice on how to spot stress in our loved ones, and what to do when we are stressed.

The Church of England have produced a useful guide here about dealing with anxiety and fear, with prayer included.

Supporting the Isolated and the Vulnerable

The Diocese have issued some guidance on how we might care for people here.

“We are encouraging churches to find creative ways of staying in touch with those who are isolated and vulnerable and to give them spiritual support and also practical support as far as possible.

Please also follow government guidelines at this time- which do include permission to go out in order to help and support the vulnerable (eg food drops) while maintaining a 2m distance from anyone else. For more details on government instructions while in lockdown, click here

#PeopleofHope

These are difficult and dark times. But in dark times there is always an opportunity to shine the light of hope. If you or people you know are providing that light in your communities, please share it with others on your preferred social media platform, and use the hashtag #PeopleofHope so that others can see the good news you are putting into the world.

Volunteering for the NHS
The NHS has asked for volunteers to help cope with the unprecedented demand it will face over the coming weeks. Details here.

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