Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Useful Resources Update

The National Education Union have launched a microsite to support parents, carers and students.
The site contains information on key areas of concern for parents and families, including the impact of the cancellation of exams and Government test, learning outside school and supporting children’s health and wellbeing.

Lambeth council’s helpline for vulnerable people operates from 8am to 8pm, enabling people who need help (or those caring or concerned for them) to contact the council as part of the Community Hub.

The helpline number is 020 7926 2999.

For up to date information on what the council is doing concerning coronavirus covid-19 emergency response, please go to:

Volunteer for the council

Many local residents are registering with groups like COVID-19-mutual-aid on WhatsApp and Facebook to help with contacting households at the doorstep.

For those who would like to volunteer through the council the application form is here : form

Help and advice for families living with dementia during the Covid-19 outbreak

Many of our local families are affected by dementia and, inevitably, the coronavirus outbreak has been, and will continue to be, challenging for the families and people living with dementia as many people living with dementia struggle with changes to daily routines. 
It is also important to take time to prepare for different situations such as the person with dementia getting sick or if carers get sick.

For up to date guidance please go to The Lambeth Dementia Action Alliance for residents and carers which includes helplines and ways to support someone day-to-day at home. Please see below for further details.

Telephone helplines with staff who understand family carers & can talk through options
Alzheimer’s Society: 0300 222 11 22
Dementia UK Admiral Nurses: 0800 888 6678
Lambeth & Southwark Alzheimer’s Society: 020 7735 5850
Lambeth Independent Living & Carers Partnership: 020 7095 5720
Caring4carers: 07939 221 484
Lambeth council’s  Covid19 Vulnerable person helpline: 020 7926 2999

Chat forums on dementia
To connect online with other people affected by dementia, try Talking Point at
Skype, Face Time and Zoom are some online face to face tools - and don’t forget the pleasure of getting a letter or postcard. Simply picking up the phone and making sure people are okay is extremely powerful at this time.

Information on dementia
The Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia UK have many information sheets on aspects of dementia with useful tips and suggestions e.g. on washing , eating , walking about, music: or

Dementia services
Many services for people living with dementia are temporarily closed to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, but resources online include:
Lambeth’s AgeUK’s My Community (directory of services)

A few tips on getting through the day

  • Try to persuade & encourage the person with dementia and to avoid confrontation with them if possible.
  • Set up a regular time for telephoning.
  • Talk about early memories. Use music and old movies to help with reminiscence.
  • For people who forget recent news - a notice by the front door can remind people about not going out and other changes due to coronavirus.
  • Set up different areas/zones in your home e.g.: watch favourite films and musicals in the living room, listen to the radio in the kitchen, do jigsaw puzzles at the table.
  • Activity box with puzzles and crafts.
  • Assistive technology can help provide reminders about eating regularly, not going out, washing hands and so on. Available at

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Advice from Lambeth Made about supporting the Emotional Health & Wellbeing of Children & Young People


COVID-19 is affecting everyone’s daily lives. Huge changes in the way society works are happening in order to manage the outbreak, reduce transmission and treat those who need medical attention.
This is bound to be a difficult time for children and young people. Some will show it soon, for some it will take some time, but all will be affected in some way. How it shows will depend on their age, their ability to understand, their home situation, what their family is experiencing and how they cope with challenge and change.
Different children and young people will react in different ways. They may be scared about their own health and their family and friends health, they may not seem worried, but be holding it inside and having trouble sleeping or have physical symptoms like stomach aches.
Whether the impact is obvious or hidden, it's really important that the people close to the children and young people look after their mental health and wellbeing during this time.

Listen to them: Everyone feels less anxious if they talk about how they feel.  Children and young people may find it harder to explain, especially if they have any communication barriers. The important thing is they are heard, their worries are taken seriously, and they get extra love and attention.

Skills for Care advice offers tips for talking about feelings.

Give clear information: They want to feel safe. Understanding what’s happening helps. They need openness, honesty and explanations about what’s being done and why it’s important. They need to know what they can do to help, like washing their hands regularly.

The Mencap website has easy to read information that works with all children and young people

Be a positive example: Children and young people watch how their parents and carers react to what’s going on. It’s important for them to see calmness, kindness and supportive behaviour. It’s important that adults take care of themselves.

Here’s some advice for adults on how to look after your own mental wellbeing.

Connect regularly: If parents and carers cannot be with their children they should make sure they have frequent contact by phone or video call and make sure they understand why they can’t meet up. 

Create a new routine: Knowing what is happening when, even if it's different from usual, helps children and young people feel safe. Give them a plan for the day or the week, so they know when they will be learning, playing and relaxing. Use online learning resources like BBC Bitesize. Keep them physically active using indoor games and activities like Change4Life. Stick to their normal bedtime routines.

Be careful with TV and social media: They could get upset by hearing too much about what’s going on, but don’t cut them off completely. They should have limited access to the news and always have someone to talk with about what they see and hear.

The age children are will have a huge influence on how they react to challenging times:

0 to 2-year olds may become distressed more easily, crying more and wanting to be held and cuddled more.

3 to 6-year olds may go back to having toileting accidents, bed-wetting, being frightened about separation, and they may be more likely to have tantrums or difficulty sleeping.

7 to 10-year olds could feel sad, angry, or afraid. They might also get false news from peers that need correcting. They might get obsessed and want to talk about it all the time, but they may want to avoid it completely. 

Pre-teens and teenagers could become introverted and cut themselves off from friends. They could be overwhelmed by emotions and unable to talk, leading to increased arguing and even fighting with siblings, parents, caregivers or other adults. Older teens might act out and indulge in alcohol or drug use, or get anxious about school closures and exam cancellations.

If they want to speak to someone else, they can call a helpline or visit websites like Shout, ChildLine and The Mix. eQuoo is a fun way to support their mental health.
Shout gives free, confidential support, 24/7 via text. They can text SHOUT to 85258 to text-chat with trained volunteers who can listen and help with problem-solving
ChildLine’s helpline is for any child with a problem. They can  0800 1111 any time for free, have an online chat with a counsellor and check out the message boards
The Mix offers a free 24/7 crisis messenger text service for anyone aged 25 or under, on 85258, a listening and signposting helpline on 0808 808 4994 and a one-to-one online chat service. More about all these services and more at:

eQuoo is a free app developed by a team of psychologists and the creators of The Walking Dead games. It combines mental health research with play and uses choose-your-own-adventure games to increase emotional fitness and teach  psychological skills. There are currently some in-app purchases, but they are not crucial to gameplay and there will soon be a code for Lambeth users that removes them:

Mental Health Resources

Anyone worried about a child or young person’s mental health should seek help from a professional. They can contact their school or college or their GP or get support from South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust’s SLAM crisis line on 0800 731 2864. For more advice on where to get support for a mental health crisis visit the NHS page.

Lambeth Resources

Kooth is an online counselling service for 11-25 year olds living in Lambeth and across south-east London. Free, anonymous mental health and emotional well-being support comes from qualified counsellors in one-to-one sessions, from 12 noon to 10.00 p.m. on weekdays, and from 6.00 p.m. until 10.0 p.m. at weekends, 52 weeks per year. Young people can also log on to to access help and support for their mental well-being.

National Resources

Doctors of the World have made COVID-19 advice available in 35 languages. It's based on government advice and health information. It is also on their Google drive..
MindEd is a free learning resource about the mental health of children, young people and older adults. They also offer e-learning for volunteers, students and practitioners.
Young Minds for Parents and Carers offer advice for children and young people up to  25 and their carers. Young people can get ideas about things to do if they are anxious, concerned or stressed at Parents and carers can call their helpline on 0808 802 5544 and get advice on talking about COVI-19 at

Papyrus provide online suicide prevention support aimed at young people and adults up to the age of 35 at  

Physical Health 

Anyone worried about virus related symptoms a child or young person is experiencing should visit the NHS self-isolation advice website for information. If still worried, they can call NHS 111, but if someone is seriously ill and their life is at risk call 999. 

A mental health emergency should be taken as seriously as a physical health emergency.

Update for residents about Council Services

Useful Help Lines and contact details:

If you aware of any vulnerable residents including those who have no recourse to public funds,
who need help from the council there is a dedicated helpline number to call which is:
020 7926 2999 (8am to 8pm each day)

Anyone experiencing financial or any other hardship can also contact the following advice agencies:

Citizens Advice. Tel: 020 8687 8380

Brixton Advice Centre 

Centre 70. Tel:  020 8670 0070

South London refugee Association. Tel: 0203 490 3443 or email or call/text/ Whatsapp Rebekka on: 07809736493 or Semsem on: 07711198594.

Domestic violence help lines:

Freephone 24-Hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0808 2000 247

Lambeth council Business helpline: Tel: 0207 926 2344, (open every day from 9am-5pm).
The team are answering any queries that businesses may have relating to both government initiatives such as grants and business rate relief, and Lambeth initiatives such as rent relief for tenants.

Rough Sleepers

Not all rough sleepers want to take up the offer of accommodation. If it’s safe for you to do so please approach anyone you see sleeping rough and ask their permission to contact Streetlink:

 Noise nuisance and ASB update

The Public Protection’s noise nuisance service has been reduced. Calls are being logged but investigations are limited to the more serious noise nuisance cases such as parties and Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB)
If you wish to report a noise nuisance or ASB please call 020 7926 5000 or use the webform


Prepayment meter card advice for those who are self-isolating and use prepayment meter cards for their electric and gas.  Please contact your energy provider directly or contact one of the advice agencies listed above.
There is also a useful guide from Money Saving Expert which contains good ,practical information.

Thames Water
Have said that they've increased the support available for customers who may be struggling to pay their bill with the introduction of a flexible payment period in addition to existing measures such as:
Social tariff which offers low-income households a discount of 50% on their bills
Customer Assistance Fund which offers grants to those with outstanding bills
Trust Fund which offers debt advice and grants for household appliances and other essentials
More information on the help Thames Water offer and information on how to apply is available at:

Other Resources

Home isolation resources in British Sign Language can be found here

 Community Hub

The Community Hub at Brixton Rec is being set up by Mutual Aid Groups, local Foodbanks and the council to provide food and medication to Lambeth residents who have been contacted by the NHS as part of the Shield programme. If you would like to volunteer to help please complete this form: