Where To Find Support During Lockdown
The last year has been a stressful one for everyone. Right now, we are in another lockdown for 2021, and it’s normal, and entirely understandable, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, worried or exhausted about the situation and the world around you.
You might be finding it harder than ever at the moment to know how to best look after your mental health and wellbeing, as well as your family and responsibilities.
If you’re struggling, you are not alone. We have advice, tips and helpful information that could really help.
SUPPORTING YOUR CHILD OVER LOCKDOWN
How can I support my child during lockdown?
Talk with them about what’s going on, keeping communication as open and often as you can. Let them know that it’s okay to feel however they feel – whether that’s scared, worried, angry, sad or something in-between.
Try to answer your child’s questions and reassure them in an age appropriate manner. While you don’t need to know all the answers, talking things through can help them feel calmer and create a more relaxed atmosphere for them to open up in.
Encourage your child to do the things that help them when they’re finding things difficult. This will be different for everyone – it could include things like doing exercise or going for a walk, watching a favourite film, reading a favourite book, cooking or baking, talking to friends, or maybe even drawing or writing to relax their mind. Remember – PE with Joe has started up again, so try and get them involved in physical activity, even if its only for half an hour.
Reassure them this will pass, you’re there for them, and you will get through this together. Having returned to some of their normal activities over the summer, going back into stricter measures might feel frustrating for your child. They may even be worried that things will never get better. Recognise how difficult this is, while also letting them know that the pandemic will not last forever.
Spend time doing a positive activity together. This can help them to feel calmer by giving them a short break from everything that’s going on. It’s also a great way of providing a space for them to talk through their concerns, without having a ‘big chat’. You could watch their favourite film, do arts and crafts, or even bake together.
Keep as many regular routines going as possible to help your child feel safe and secure. This can include things like having regular times for going to bed, waking up, eating meals and doing hobbies.
The internet is an amazing resource which enables children and young people to connect, communicate and be creative in a number of different ways, on a range of devices. However, the internet is always changing, and being able to keep up to date with your children’s use of technology can be a challenge. Bradley Stoke Community School has put together a handy guide for parents and carers to ensure your child/ children are staying safe on the internet while at home.
My Child Isn’t Following The Restrictions
At a time when we are experiencing so much change, uncertainty and worry, it is normal for young people to want to be around friends and family. Due to social distancing rules, they may not be able to visit, hug or be physically close to loved ones, and this can feel frustrating and upsetting. You may be finding it difficult to support your child to comply with the restrictions. If this is the case, here are some tips to help you:
Empathise with your child’s feelings about the situation – letting them know that it’s okay to feel however they feel. This will help them to feel heard, reducing feelings of anger and resentment.
Give your child clear and strong messages about why it is still important to abide by the rules. Remind them that these rules are for their safety, as well as yours and the people around them.
Keep boundaries around their behaviour in place, as you would during normal times. In the midst of so much uncertainty, this will help your child to feel safer and more secure by giving them clear expectations to follow. Remember to also empathise with your child’s feelings, alongside holding boundaries around their behaviour.
Reassure your child that the restrictions are not a punishment. Remind them that while the situation may feel very difficult right now, these measurements are temporary and things will go back to normal eventually.
Talk with your child about how they can stay safe. For example, show them what two-metre’s distance looks like and let them know when they should wash their hands regularly. If your child is required to wear a face mask in public spaces such as shops, explain this to them and talk through any worries they have about it together.
Think together about how they can stay in touch with friends and family online – for example by using Zoom, WhatsApp or social media. Remember to focus on the things they can do, as well as recognising the things they can’t.
My Child Is Anxious/ Worried
Is your child/ children starting to feel anxious and worried about the world they are currently living in? Not sure on how to help them? The Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families has a whole range of advice on how to support students and children who are anxious, or are struggling with grief during this pandemic. Follow the links below to find advice on anxiety and looking to the future.
In Need Of Financial Support
The coronavirus pandemic has made things very difficult for lots of families. If you need financial support, it is important that you reach out for help.
Help with food and other essentials
- If you need help getting essential items for your family, such as food and toiletries, you can find support through your local food bank. You can find food banks near you using the Trussell Trust’s directory
- North Bristol Food Bank (partnered with Trussell Trust) are also working to tackle food poverty and hunger in our local communities, as well as across the UK, especially during lockdown.
- The Trussell Trust also provides a free, confidential helpline for anyone who is in financial crisis. Call 0808 208 2138 to speak to an advisor (open 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday, England and Wales only).
Support with employment
- If you have lost your job as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, you may be able to access financial support. To find out how, visit the government website.
- If you are employed, but cannot work because of having less work available or because you are self-isolating or shielding, other types of financial help may also be available. You can find the government’s information about this here.
- If you are self-employed, but are getting less or no work because of the pandemic, you may be able to access a range of financial support packages. You can find out about the different options here.
- Future Bright offers free career coaching, training and support to help you develop the skills and confidence you need to take your next step. When you join Future Bright, you’ll be matched with a dedicated career coach who will support you to create a personalised action plan. During the Coronavirus outbreak, our coaches continue to support residents by using telephone and online tools to stay in touch safely.
- South Gloucestershire Community Learning and Skills Service (CLaSS) is an adult education service based within South Gloucestershire Council. They aim to provide mostly free courses to adults aged 19+ with no or few qualifications; and other barriers to work, if you are struggling to find work, take a look at their Facebook page to find out more information.
Support with accommodation
- Shelter supports families who are living in poor housing conditions, at risk of becoming homeless, or homeless. You can find your nearest housing advice centre here.
- You can also find information and advice on issues such as homelessness, evictions, benefits and council housing on their website.
Did you know that students (primary and secondary) can download Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint and Excel) for free through the Microsoft website if they login with their school details: https://microsoft.com/en-gb/education/products/office?
Schools and families can also request free mobile data increases for students without broadband and/or those who can’t afford extra data for devices. Three, Smarty, Virgin Mobile, EE, Tesco Mobile & Sky Mobile all taking part in the scheme. More info here: https://get-help-with-tech.education.gov.uk/internet-access.
During the pandemic, our need to stay connected remotely increased. But not everyone has the right equipment to do so. Civil society has stepped up. Community groups and local initiatives across the UK are asking people to donate their old laptops, computers and other electronic items. They fix and upgrade these devices and distribute them to locals in need, sometimes in partnership with a local small charity. This work is vital.
If you would like to donate an old laptop, or are in desperate need of one for you or your children, check out Restart, where they list computer reuse projects across the United Kingdom that accept individual donations, for reuse in the local community. Depending on the project, your own time and knowledge can make a real difference! Get in touch with a project near you and ask how you can help.
Other projects are listed below. Please click the links to find out more information:
LetsLocalise – Links businesses and individuals with schools in their area that are accepting donations. This covers much of England.
Computer Aid – Will accept donations from businesses across the UK. They also offer a free collection service anywhere in the UK to individuals donating laptops.
Business2Schools – Links businesses and individuals with schools in their area that are accepting donations. This covers much of England.
ADISA / Digital Access For All – Will accept donations from UK businesses.
SCHOOL TWITTER PAGES AND WEBSITE
SCHOOL FACEBOOK PAGES:
Stoke Lodge – https://www.facebook.com/StokeLodgePrimary/
Meadowbrook – https://www.facebook.com/meadowbrookprimary/
SCHOOL FACEBOOK PAGES:
Bradley Stoke – https://www.facebook.com/bscsnews/
Winterbourne – https://www.facebook.com/WAsocialmedia/
Bradley Stoke Community School is sending out free supply bags with sanitary products for students that are in need of them.
CHILD-FRIENDLY MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT APPS
During lockdown, some children and young people have enjoyed being off school, while others will have really struggled to work, or with the coronavirus outbreak keeping them at home, be away from their friends. Others may be coming to terms with loss or changes to their living situation during lockdown.
With nationwide and local restrictions being regularly reviewed, they may also have to deal with self-isolating because of an outbreak in school or another period of school closure, or have worries about getting or passing on the virus on to friends and family.
If your child/ children are struggling, there are plenty of resources available for them to get support during this difficult time.
Used by most schools, primary and secondary. Kooth offers helpful articles, personal experiences and tips from young people and their Kooth team. As well as this, they offer the chance to talk with other peers who are feeling pressure, or their experienced team who can be there as a helpful hand.
Blue Ice is an evidenced-based app to help young people manage their emotions and reduce urges to self-harm. It includes a mood diary, a toolbox of evidence-based techniques to reduce distress and automatic routing to emergency numbers if urges to harm continue.
Calm Harm is an app designed to help people resist or manage the urge to self-harm. It’s private and password protected.
Relax your body and mind with a series of audio tracks designed to help you build confidence, energy and a positive mindset.
Thrive helps you prevent and manage stress, anxiety and related conditions. The game based app can be used to relax before a stressful situation or on a more regular basis to help you live a happier, more stress-free life.
MENTAL HEALTH HOTLINES
CALM is the Campaign Against Living Miserably. A charity providing a mental health helpline and webchat.
Phone: 0800 58 58 58 (daily, 5pm to midnight)
Promotes the views and needs of people with mental health problems.
Phone: 0300 123 3393 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm)
Young suicide prevention society.
Phone: HOPElineUK 0800 068 4141 (9am to midnight, every day of the year)
Confidential support for people experiencing feelings of distress or despair.
Phone: 116 123 (free 24-hour helpline)
Children’s charity dedicated to ending child abuse and child cruelty.
Phone: 0800 1111 for Childline for children (24-hour helpline)
0808 800 5000 for adults concerned about a child (24-hour helpline)
Advice on dealing with domestic violence.
Phone: 0808 2000 247 (24-hour helpline)
LOCAL COMMUNITY SUPPORT
If you are in need of help during this lockdown, there are many charities, support groups and info pages that you can access on social media and websites.
The 5 Stokes COVID-19 Help and Support
The 5 Stokes is a volunteer run support group, offering a whole range of services for people living in the area.
- Covid and Local area updates
- Free Online Courses and Workshops (Covid related AND other)
- Updates on Shopping Queues and Food items
- Volunteering opportunities (these range from doing a vulnerable persons shopping, picking up prescriptions, dog walking and free tutoring for children and students.)
For regular updates, follow the 5 stokes on Facebook.
Southern Brooks Community Partnership is a community development organisation, which brings people together to build strong communities. During the pandemic, they have furthered their support and advice in the local area.
- Free Courses and Workshops
- Volunteering Opportunities in the local area
- Employment Support and Advice
COVID TEST INFORMATION
Covid-19 rapid tests (also known as lateral flow tests) are for people who are 16 years or older without coronavirus symptoms, that live or work in South Gloucestershire.
They are taking place at:
- Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre – 7 days a week
- Kingswood Leisure Centre – every day except for Tuesday and Thursday
The rapid testing does not replace the Government’s testing programme for those with symptoms. If you have symptoms, you should continue to book a test on GOV.UK or call 119.
WALTHROUGH TESTING SITES
- University of West England Car Park 3
Victoria Rooms Car Park
Hengrove Leisure Car Park
DRIVE THROUGH TESTING SITES
To find out what stores are still open at Willow Brook for your essential needs, take a look here at our full list.