Here2Help is a countywide campaign and community response to provide help and support to vulnerable people and families affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. It is led and coordinated by Worcestershire County Council, supported by a growing network of individuals, groups and organisations across the county.
It was launched at the start of the pandemic, initially to help vulnerable households who may be self-isolating to access food and medicine – particularly where they don’t have available family, friends and neighbours to support them. Increasingly the campaign is also responding to the secondary impact of the pandemic, which in the context of children, young people and families includes issues where:
• The financial situation in a household has changed and parents are struggling to be able to feed their family;
• Parents might be struggling to cope without their usual support networks, to help look after children and keep them entertained (particularly where there may have already been challenging behaviour);
• The isolation and loneliness, accompanied by other issues, are bringing increasing stress and anxiety for children, young people and parents.
How does it work?
Here2Help is about making sure that anyone who is vulnerable during this pandemic is able access the help and support they need to prevent them from getting into crisis. There are three ways this is being done:
1. Providing information, advice and resources to enable self-help wherever possible. On the Here2Help website http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/here2help) there are a growing number of resources to help families entertain and educate their children, support their mental health, maintain their wellbeing at home, for instance.
2. People can request help by completing the short on-line form on the website or via a dedicated phone number, 01905 768053, which is open from 8am to 8pm seven days a week. As of 15th April, there had been 1,312 “requests for help” received by Here2Help.
Each request which is received is picked up by a WCC or WCF member of staff who then works with the person requesting help to match them to the appropriate information and support. This might be related to access to food and medicine, help and support with childcare and looking after children, community help with money and wellbeing, for instance.
3. People, groups and organisations can also offer help by completing a short on-line form on the website. As of 15th April, there had been 1,359 “offers of help”, which are being matched to the requests for help the campaign is receiving.
- Here2Help: www.worcestershire.gov.uk/here2help
- Starting Well: https://www.hacw.nhs.uk/starting-well/
- SEND Local Offer: www.worcestershire.gov.uk/send