Barnardo’s offers helpline for BAME families impacted by Covid-19

29th Jan 2021
Barnardo’s offers helpline for BAME families impacted by Covid-19

(Photo credit: Suvajit Ro/Pixabay)

Elham Asaad Buaras

As the UK endures a third lockdown, the country’s largest children’s charity is working to support those hit hardest by the coronavirus outbreak.

With much of the UK back in lockdown, children and families from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities are being reminded that there is a specialist helpline available to support them through the pandemic.

Research, published by the Resolution Foundation shows workers of BAME background are more likely to be made unemployed post-furlough.

Meanwhile, official statistics show Black people are around four times more likely to die from Covid-19 related illnesses than White people of the same age. And nearly double the number of children from Black and Asian families are in poverty compared with White children. These children are 1.5 times more likely to be young carers, with little access to support over the last six months, leaving many to fall behind at school, as they stay at home to look after and protect loved ones from the virus.

Boloh, run by Barnardo’s, is the first helpline specifically supporting vulnerable children and families from thes communities hit hardest by Covid-19.

The issues the trained advisers have helped with so far include children calling with worries about the future due to school disruption, mental health and wellbeing problems, coping with sickness and bereavement, and financial worries due to unemployment.

And Barnado’s fears the combination of the lockdown, long dark winter and the spread of the virus will exacerbate these problems. The Boloh helpline provides therapeutic support, a live web chat facility, and a lifeline to communities struggling to deal with issues.
Boloh also provides advice, and support from trained specialist advisors and therapists – who are from a diverse set of cultural backgrounds and speak a range of languages.

Barnardo’s Chief Executive, Javed Khan, said, “The calls we receive on the Boloh helpline show just how difficult it has been for families from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities. Our advisers have been helping people cope with an overwhelming number of deaths, unemployment, increased stress and mental health difficulties and poverty.

The helpline is providing a lifeline as it is reaching the neediest and providing them with much-needed support. “Barnardo’s is proud to be at the forefront of responding to the challenges faced by vulnerable children and young people. In these uniquely challenging times, we are working in partnership with Government, business and other charities to support those who need us most.”

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