National charity, Deafblind UK, has received funding from Barclays to support people who are deafblind through the Covid-19 pandemic. The grant has enabled the charity to operate extended opening hours to cope with increased demand.
Since the start of the pandemic, demand for Deafblind UK’s helpline and wellbeing services has increased by 200%.
Steve Conway, CEO said: “The Coronavirus pandemic is affecting a lot of our members, either emotionally or practically. We have connected people to local support groups who can help them to get food, we have summarised news briefings for people who cannot access that information and we have talked to people who are finding isolation and the increased anxiety all too much to deal with. We have also taught people how to use video calls and accessible technology to keep in touch with their family, which is very rewarding to witness! We know that there are a lot more people out there who are affected by sight and hearing loss, who are facing the same challenges as our members.”
Barclays launched their 100×100 UK COVID-19 Community Relief Programme to support COVID-19 relief work in local communities. The programme, which forms part of their wider COVID-19 Community Aid Package, focuses on supporting UK charity partners who are meeting the immediate needs of people in our communities, including low income families, those facing financial hardship, isolated elderly people and key workers.
Nigel Higgins, Barclays Chairman, said: “COVID-19 has created an unprecedented social and economic impact in the UK, with many experiencing greater hardship due to the crisis. Incredible charities, such as Deafblind UK have been playing a vital role in the UK’s response to the pandemic, ensuring urgent help reaches those most in need of support. As a bank we have been doing all we can for our customers, clients and colleagues, and we hope that by partnering with Deafblind UK and many other charities across the UK, collectively we can ensure that as many people as possible in the communities in which we live and work are supported through this crisis.”
The Deafblind UK helpline can be accessed in the following ways:
Tel: 0800 132320
Text: 07950 008870
Text relay: 18001 then 0800 132320
Facetime: email@example.com (Not BSL)
BSL video relay: https://deafblind.org.uk/bsl/