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Helpline launches for Bame families in Redbridge affected by coronavirus pandemic

PUBLISHED: 15:00 03 November 2020

Barnardo’s offers a helpline for Black and Asian families impacted by Covid-19 ahead of new England-wide lockdown. Picture: Barnardo's

Barnardo’s offers a helpline for Black and Asian families impacted by Covid-19 ahead of new England-wide lockdown. Picture: Barnardo's

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Barnardo’s has launched a new helpline in Redbridge to support black and Asian families who have been affected by the Covid-19 crisis.

The charity has launched �Boloh�, the first helpline specifically supporting vulnerable Black, Asian and minority ethnic children and families negatively affected by Covid-19. Picture: Barnardo'sThe charity has launched �Boloh�, the first helpline specifically supporting vulnerable Black, Asian and minority ethnic children and families negatively affected by Covid-19. Picture: Barnardo's

The service, called Boloh after the South Asian word for speak, is the first of its kind and will provide a lifeline to black, Asian and minority ethnic (Bame) parents, children and young people across the UK who have been adversely affected by the pandemic.

Black people are four times more likely to die from coronavirus than white people, according to research by the Office for National Statistics.

The helpline offers a range of therapeutic support and practical advice to communities struggling with bereavement, rising levels of hate crime due to the pandemic and financial hardship.

Families, young people over the age of eleven and carers can call specialist support advisers, use a live web chat facility or access information and resources on a dedicated website.

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The initiative comes as research reveals the impact of the pandemic and lockdown on the mental health and well-being of children and young people from Bame communities.

Mental health provider Kooth reported an increase in the numbers of Bame children and young people experiencing mental illness in comparison to their white peers, with depression increasing by 9.2 per cent, suicidal thoughts by 26.6pc and anxiety and stress up by 11.4pc on last year’s figures.

Lynn Gradwell, director for Barnardo’s London, said: “The pandemic and recession are worsening existing inequalities.

As a result, children in black and Asian communities are suffering bereavement, mental health problems and fear for the future - yet many remain hidden from essential support services and have often been left to suffer in silence.”

“At Barnardo’s we know that families in black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities have been hit hardest by the virus and in London more than a third of the families we support are from these communities.”

The service will run for a year in partnership with the National Emergencies Trust and has received funding from the Covid-19 Support Fund.

For advice and support call 0800 1512605 or visit helpline.barnardos.org.uk/


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