The UK charity, The Louise Project, has stepped up where other charities have been forced to step down with an aim to help many families in the wider community who are facing immense hardships and even greater challenges as they struggle to manage without essential resources. The Glasgow based charity, which primarily offers support to isolated Romanian families in Govanhill, has set up a number of additional services, some of which operate city wide, to help meet the needs of vulnerable people during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Amongst the charity’s newly launched services is a crisis support service, a pastoral care line and an online information service for people experiencing poverty and hardship. Margo Uprichard, CEO at The Louise Project, says offering help to vulnerable people is more vital now than ever:
“We can expect to see an increase in the number of families struggling with poverty as those who did not previously access support services face economic pressures. Families may also experience levels of stress and anxiety that can lead to poor mental health, therefore we have changed how we respond to poverty by expanding our support services and broadening their outreach.”
The Coronavirus outbreak has had a significant impact on many charities’ abilities to continue their vital services. Fortunately, The Louise Project secured emergency funds with grants from Foundation Scotland Response Fund and Corra Foundation Wellbeing Fund. Uprichard says the project is also extremely grateful to their regular funders who have been of immense support at this time:
“It is their combined efforts that has enabled The Louise Project to set up our new support services. We would also like to acknowledge the many wonderful organisations working in partnership with the project to ensure the most marginalised and vulnerable families receive the support they need.”
Staff at The Louise Project are working hard to provide their new frontline services in addition to their standard services. The new services include:
- Crisis Support Service: A dedicated telephone help line; door step delivery service providing essential food; supermarket vouchers for fresh food and cleaning products; utility vouchers for gas and electric; creative activity packs.
- Pastoral Care Line: A dedicated telephone line, serviced by Daughters of Charity, for employees, employers and beneficiaries to express their anxieties, stress and fears at this time.
- Online Information Service: Utilising Facebook, the project is helping to keep Roma families informed on ‘How to Keep Safe’, ‘News Briefings’ and local information. Additionally, the project is developing an online gallery to showcase artwork by children in the community.
- Digital Media Channel: A new programme is currently in development that will provide isolated and low-income families with free digital devices, such as tablets, and access to broadband to attend literacy classes, wellbeing sessions and engage in fun activities, e.g. children’s’ talent show.