Hayley from the Peasholme Charity gave us a call last week to say because of the Covid-19 pandemic they were launching a crisis helpline, as an extension of their usual face-to-face Community Advice Service. They did this guest blog to share their news with you.
The Peasholme Charity have been helping people that are homeless or at risk of losing their homes, for over 30 years.
Since 2017, the Charity has provided a Community Advice Service to local people in crisis, which operates in partnership with York Foodbank.
An advice worker would typically attend week day foodbank sessions, advising on a range of issues such as housing, mental and physical health, substance misuse, finances, learning difficulties, education, employment and disability.
“My usual role would be to attend foodbank sessions and talk to people using the service, try and find out why they need support accessing food, signpost them to specialist support services and do all I can to help them get back on their feet” said Sarah, Community Advice Worker at Peasholme Charity.
Adam Raffell, Project Co-ordinator at York Foodbank said “All of our sessions are still running with social distancing measures in place and we are also now delivering to those who are unable to access help due to having to self-isolate. Protecting the health of our clients and volunteers is a top priority.
“The partnership with Peasholme Charity and Sarah’s work providing the vital advice service remotely is going to be more important now than ever, as existing avenues for advice and support are being overwhelmed with enquiries from people who need help in these challenging times.”
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and in response to an unprecedented increase in people accessing the foodbank in York, the way the community advice service operates is changing. The service will be managed remotely using a free phone number and referrals will be accepted from additional partners Kyra Women’s project, York MIND, York Housing Association, Carecent, York CVS, Salvation Army, City of York Council, Citizens Advice Bureau and Local Area Coordinators.
“As our employee is no longer able to safely attend foodbank drop-ins we will be running this service remotely by launching a free helpline for people in a crisis situation relating to housing, income or accessing foodbank vouchers.
“Our generous funders have recognised that we need to respond to the crisis happening now and have granted permission to divert resources to respond to current need.
” We’re thrilled to be able to continue and extend this service, which is needed now more than ever before and will be for the foreseeable future.” Yvonne Morrissey, Charity Manager said.
The crisis helpline will operate on a referral only basis, supporting York based people, over the age of 18 that have been referred to Peasholme Charity by specific key partners because they are in a pandemic related crisis. The crisis helpline began operating as of 15 April 2020.
Peasholme Charity is an independent charity that relies on grant funding and charitable donations to survive. If you are able to make a donation to support this service, please do so here: https://peasholmecharity.charitycheckout.co.uk