Daily coronavirus roundup for third sector Thursday 2 June

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What's happening across the sector #NeverMoreNeeded

2nd July 2020 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Refugee group call to be heard

Glasgow refugees and asylum seekers have come together to form a new campaign demanding "to be heard" after the Park Inn attack last Friday. Refugees For Justice is calling for an end to a "broken, inhumane, and unjust asylum and immigration system" which has left Glasgow with "deep wounds". It comes in the wake of the stabbings at the Park Inn Hotel on West George Street which left six injured. The man behind the attack, Badreddin Abadlla Adam, 28, was shot dead by armed officers. During the coronavirus pandemic, the Mears Group had moved asylum seekers into the hotel. In a manifesto, Refugees for Justice is pleading for a "safe, transparent, supportive and publicly accountable process" in which asylum seekers could voice their concerns without fear of retribution. The group adds that asylum seekers have "silenced, intimidated and threatened" in the past three months after they were moved into the hotels with "very limited access to support". It reads: "We do not deserve this. The City did not deserve this. None of the victims of this devastating tragedy deserve this."We believe a  broken, inhumane, and unjust asylum and immigration system that allows people to be treated this way, and allows our cities, communities and citizens to face such tragic consequences."

Cash boost for north east group

Homelessness charity Aberdeen Foyer has received a £5,225 cash grant from the Morrisons Foundation. It is hoped that the money will help the charity in its mission to support young homeless people across the Aberdeenshire region. The charity will use the funding to ensure that food and essential items will continue to be provided for 50 young homeless tenants – each of whom are currently living in supported accommodation throughout the coronavirus pandemic and beyond. Brenda McGinlay, business development manager at Aberdeen Foyer, said: “The young people we support have faced really tough situations and COVID-19 has created additional barriers and increased anxiety. “The grant we received from the Morrisons Foundation has helped us ensure the young people we work with have been able to stay connected and access online support. It has also relieved the worry faced by many around accessing and paying for essential items including electricity/gas, food, toiletries and cleaning products. One of the biggest hits was the vinyl gloves which were not easy to source locally and for those who were worried about shopping, they gave them added confidence and reduced anxiety and vulnerability. A big thank you to the Morrisons Foundation.”

Pandemic isolating more people 

Coronavirus has exacerbated the UK’s loneliness problem, with a quarter of UK adults saying that lockdown has made them realise that they have “no real friends”, according to new research by Santander UK. The research shows that people have been reflecting on their friendships in recent months, with 29% of all adults saying they have been disappointed not to have heard from particular friends since lockdown began, and one in five saying their friendships have been strained because their friends haven’t bothered to get in touch with them.  Fourteen per cent fear they have lost friends forever as a result of not being able to visit them in person. Loneliness has been so unbearable for 12% of people in the UK that they have deliberately broken lockdown rules in a bid to alleviate their feelings of isolation. Meanwhile, many have turned to food and drink for comfort, with 40% of lonely people saying they have been eating too much, and a quarter drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. One of the most common effects of loneliness is missing friends and family, and the over 55s have felt this more than other age groups. Almost three-quarters of over 55s say they have struggled during lockdown, while 38% of all adults have noticed a deterioration in their older or vulnerable relatives’ mental or physical wellbeing since the start of lockdown. Santander UK commissioned the research to highlight the impact of loneliness and the need to support those who are struggling. To help those in need of a friendly chat, Santander UK employees are signing up as volunteers to make social phone calls to lonely and vulnerable people in the community through Age UK and Alzheimer’s Society. In turn, the Santander Foundation will donate £1,000 to Age UK and Alzheimer’s Society (split equally between the two charities) for every employee who takes part in this and other volunteering initiatives, up to £1million. So far, more than 1,000 colleagues have signed up.

 Support for baby charity 

Held in Our Hearts is encouraging family, friends and colleagues to take up the baton and ‘PassTheK’ to reach our neighbours down under in Brisbane, Australia. The charity should have been travelling there for an international conference to share learning about their work and many people would have been travelling abroad at this time of year. Charity supporters can run, walk cycle or swim as many ‘K’ as they can throughout July and then ‘Pass’ the virtual baton, by tagging a friend on social media to do the same. Collectively, the aim is to travel from Edinburgh to Brisbane, a total of 16,313km. The charity has run a series of popular and fun virtual challenges through April, May and June, helping to keep their community connected and raise essential funds for their work. In June, #TheKTeam challenge was set for their running and cycling community, which had supporters seeing how many ‘K’ they could achieve in different teams. Over the month, the charity saw 11 teams ranging in size from a single person to 20 people, travel over 11,500 km. Nicola Welsh, Chief Executive Officer says of the current situation: “In a recent survey we did, 67% of families stated the lockdown has had a big impact on the care they have received. We want to continue doing all we can to support them and ensure that they are never alone. As a bereaved parent myself, my heart goes out to all the families that have had to face this nightmare isolated at home, away from close family and friends. We are committed to supporting bereaved families for the long term. One of the biggest challenges we have increasingly been seeing has been families coping with a pregnancy following a loss.”

Thespians hit hard too 

Sir Ian McKellen is launching a covid-19 fundraising appeal with The Theatrical Guild through The Good Exchange platform this today 1 July, to offer much needed support for theatre workers left unsupported by any government schemes. While the Government has recently published its recovery roadmap for theatres, it leaves many struggling backstage and front of house theatre workers with more questions than answers.  After receiving a distressing letter from a stage manager facing eviction and unable to access government relief, Sir Ian selected The Theatrical Guild to receive a £40,000 donation from proceeds of his one-man show “On Stage: With Tolkien, Shakespeare, Others and You!”, to support theatre workers to help with food bills, housing costs, mental health services and other basic essentials.