As part of our involvement in #GivingTuesdayNow, we wanted to spotlight local charities and community groups during these uncertain times caused by COVID-19. We wanted to highlight the fantastic things they are doing and let you know how you can help them right now.
In the first blog of our spotlight series, we caught up with Sophie Jones, Operations Manager at LAMP. Sophie explains the services that LAMP provide, the main challenges caused by COVID-19 and talks about why being flexible is so important for charities at these times.
1. What does your charity do?
“Lamp provides independent advocacy that helps people with mental health issues and their carers, which can be found outlined in the Advocacy Charter. Working on developing their confidence to speak out, so their voices are heard, enables individuals to make a real difference in the quality of the support and care they receive.
In reducing the sense of isolation that many feel and promoting resilience, this results in fewer people in crisis. Greater understanding and awareness also brings families together and helps to build stronger communities. We provide information and support, as well as organise and attend community events, to help challenge stigma, increase awareness and help those whose lives are affected by mental health.”
2. Are you still providing all of your services? Have you had to adapt any?
“No. We aren’t currently attending out-reach at the Bradgate Unit. We have, however, adjusted our carer’s advocacy group, this is now being hosted over Zoom. The rest is business as usual(ish!)”
3. What have been the main challenges from the impact of COVID-19?
“1. Having to close the offices, so our staff team adjusting to working from home.
2. Having to stop our outreach in the hospital settings means we are not able to support our clients at their time of need, this is hugely frustrating for us.
3. Finally handling the new levels of demand due to many support services no longer being active, so we have become a support to many new clients with us being accessible through our website and phones. This new level is also due to previous and current client’s needs increasing with anxiety, uncertainty and isolation.”
4. Are you currently fundraising or holding virtual events/activities?
“We do currently have a GoFundMe page, you can find it here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/Leicester-action-for-mental-health-project?fbclid=IwAR1nl18HaTCtJkYqvPIO8iRWClqK24q4CoBRxg6-jMklsHhOoWmrf58Z7mw.”
5. Do you have any tips for charities who are struggling with the pressures of COVID-19?
“My advice would be to be flexible. Its uncertain times for us all and more than ever our clients are crying out for some stability and some answers that we do not have. While we are funded to supply a service, which we are absolutely doing, we are also really hearing our clients.
Five minutes extra on the phone to give that bit more reassurance is really needed right now. Try not to look at your role’s restrictions, but more at what your audience need from you at this time and act.”
6. How can the public help you right now?
“The public can help us right now by sharing our information so we can get to the people who need us most. Sharing or supporting our GoFundMe page would be hugely appreciated also.“
About BHIB Charities Insurance
BHIB Charities Insurance specialise in providing tailored cover for community groups, clubs, societies, voluntary organisations and hobby or special interest groups. We offer more than just insurance and we are passionate about supporting local communities.
Any views or opinions expressed above are for guidance only and are expressed in generic terms. They are not intended as a substitute for readers taking appropriate professional advice relevant to individual circumstances. We would always encourage readers to seek professional advice.