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New phone support service is launched to help some of the most vulnerable to stay connected

New phone support service is launched to help some of the most vulnerable to stay connected

by Danielle Thompson (April 2020)

A NEW over the phone support service has been launched to help some of the most vulnerable to stay connected during the coronavirus crisis.

Regional charity, People First, who work with Lancashire County Council to support vulnerable people, have launched ‘Keeping People Connected’ to support people who have, or may have, learning difficulties and/or autism during the outbreak.

‘Keeping People Connected’ provides a safe, reliable and friendly outlet for vulnerable people; connecting through calls and conversation, the service brings those who are feeling isolated connection and support.

Through the service, they will provide:

- Immediate safety assessments

- Support and connection

- Advice and information in accessible formats

- Signposting to specialist services

- Regular check-in calls by trained professionals

- Friendship and support to be less isolated

The service includes regular and personalised calls. A member of the People First team will be paired with a caller to understand and assess their current situation.

The team will be ready to discuss health and well-being, food, medication, isolation, support needs, safety and general issues regarding the coronavirus, social distancing and shielding.

People First’s chief executive David Blacklock said: “We know people with learning disabilities and/or autism can be extremely vulnerable, this is of course magnified by the current international coronavirus crisis.

“As an organisation dedicated to supporting people, we want to make sure that we are making a proactive difference during these unprecedented times, to the lives of people across Lancashire.

“Through ‘Keeping People Connected’ we are able to develop a meaningful connection with those who need our support; we can help to share information, to provide companionship and to be a dependable presence at this most unpredictable time.’

“If you, or anyone you know, has learning difficulties and/or autism, needs support, information or just want to talk, get in touch today. Give our team a call on 0300 303 0175, or drop an email to keepconnected@wearepeoplefirst.co.uk.

“Together we can keep connected and support each other through this pandemic.”

County Councillor Graham Gooch, Lancashire County Council's cabinet member for adult services, added: “Funding this additional service in Lancashire is part of the extra measures we're putting in place to support people with learning disabilities throughout the current Coronavirus outbreak.

“People First has a wealth of experience of working with people with disabilities. Trained staff will support people with everything from getting their medication and carrying out safety assessments, through to online shopping and putting them in touch with organisations that can help if they are having difficulties at the current time.

“The service is designed to support people with a variety of learning disabilities including autism.”

To access the service, call 0300 303 0175 or email keepconnected@wearepeoplefirst.co.uk

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