Families under pressure during the Coronavirus lockdown urged not to struggle alone

04 May 2020

Thousands of families across the county struggling with the pressures caused by the Coronavirus lockdown are being reminded that Norfolk’s organisations and agencies are still here to help.

Colourful postcards featuring the rainbow, which has been a symbol of hope for so many during the pandemic, are being posted out to households from Monday 4 May to urge families not to struggle alone.

These postcards will be complemented by thousands of text messages, which will also be sent out during the week. Both the postcards and texts will both feature the Just One Norfolk support and advice line number delivered by Norfolk’s Children and Young People’s Health Services. Messages will also be posted on the social media platforms of organisations across the county.

The move is the third phase of a wide-ranging campaign launched by the Norfolk Safeguarding Children Partnership (NSCP) to keep children safe at home. The partnership includes Norfolk County Council’s Children’s Services, Norfolk Constabulary and Norfolk Children and Young People’s Health Services.

Chris Robson, independent chairman of the NSCP, said: “We know that many families will be facing increased stress during the extraordinary conditions this lockdown has imposed upon us all.

“Those who were already struggling to cope with health issues, relationship problems and financial challenges before the Coronavirus outbreak will be finding it particularly tough.

“The message we want to get across loud and clear is that families must not think they have to struggle alone, we’re all still here to help and people shouldn’t hesitate in coming forward to access the wide range of help and support on offer.”

Families can contact the helpline number provided for a range of support including emotional wellbeing, practical and mental health support and more.

Sian Larrington, Head of Service at Norfolk Children and Young People’s Health Services, said: “Supporting families has always been an absolute priority for us.

“Just One Norfolk/0300 300 0123 is an established single point of access for Norfolk's families  who need help,  support or information and we are  very pleased to be working as part of this partnership to support this offer to families in these difficult times.”

Earlier on in the campaign the partnership reached out to Norfolk’s children and young people encouraging them to come forward if they needed help via a text service and phone helpline. The campaign has also already encouraged the public to look out for Norfolk’s children and report any concerns.

Backed by the Norfolk Resilience Forum, it was launched after concerns were raised that with schools closed to the majority of children and youngsters being unable to visit friends and extended family or go to their usual clubs, children and families were spending more time behind closed doors and isolated from those who might normally support them or spot if they were struggling to cope.

Cllr John Fisher, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services at Norfolk County Council, said: “The lockdown measures have caused disruption to public services across the board but our support for children and families has never waivered.

“We have had to change and adapt but we are still here to help  those who need us, our priority remains firmly to support and protect children, young people, and their families in these unprecedented times.”

The Just One Norfolk support and advice line for families can be contacted on 0300 300 0123 or log on to www.justonenorfolk.nhs.uk.

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