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Local charity launches new service to keep vulnerable people connected during COVID-19 outbreak

Cumbria-based charity, People First, has launched a new service designed to support people who have, or may have, learning difficulties and/or autism during the outbreak of COVID-19.

The service is called ‘Keeping People Connected’ and it builds on the charity’s 30 years’ of experience working with and supporting vulnerable people.

Working with NHS England and other partner organisations, ‘Keeping People Connected’ is an over the phone service that connects those in need of support with an experienced and specialist advocacy professional.

Immediate and impactful, callers will be able to reach out to ask questions, to share their experiences, to have a conversation and to connect with a reliable, trustworthy and experienced member of our team.

As the largest provider of advocacy in the region, we know the unique challenges faced by our communities and we know that these are magnified hugely at this time for those with learning difficulties and/or autism.

‘Keeping People Connected’ provides a safe, reliable and friendly outlet for vulnerable people; connecting through calls and conversation, the service brings those who are feeling isolated connection and support.

Through the service, we will provide:

  • Immediate safety assessments
  • Support and connection
  • Advice and information in accessible formats
  • Signposting to specialist service
  • Regular check in calls by trained professionals
  • Friendship and support to be less isolated
  • Chat and Check

The service includes, what we are calling, ‘Chat and Check’ calls. A member of our team will be paired with a caller to understand and assess their current situation.

Applying advocacy training, our team will be ready to discuss health and wellbeing, food, medication, isolation, support needs, safety and general issues regarding Covid-19, social distancing and shielding.

Get in Touch

Those who will benefit from ‘Keeping People Connected’, or those who know someone who would, can contact Chris Tolley by:

Phone 07763546116

Email [email protected]

People First CEO, David Blacklock said: “We know people with learning disabilities and/or autism can be extremely vulnerable, this is of course magnified by the current international Covid-19 crisis.’

“As an organisation dedicated to supporting people, we want to make sure that we are making a proactive difference during these unprecedented times.

“Through ‘Keeping People Connected’ we are able to develop a meaningful connection with those who need our support; we can help to share information, to provide companionship and to be a dependable presence at this most unpredictable time.

“If you, or anyone you know, has learning difficulties and/or autism, needs support, information or just want to talk, get in touch today. Give one of our team, Chris, a call on 07763 546116, or drop an email to [email protected].

“Together we can keep connected and support each other through this pandemic.”

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