Please Give Your Support to Local Community Projects across the UK.
The Coronavirus health pandemic we face is a once in a generation event for us all and no-one could have fully prepared for this but there are things that we can do. Now, more than ever, we need to make sure that we can continue to support people who are vulnerable and will be very badly affected by the Coronavirus outbreak.
English for Action London, funded by money raised by Health Lottery London East, is a project that provides free ESOL lessons to adult migrants who live in Tower Hamlets and have limited English. The project aims to encourage members to take collective action on problems they face around poor housing, poor working conditions, hate crime, and lack of migrants’ rights, as well as giving people the chance to come together and discuss their similar experiences.
Due to COVID-19, the group has had to stop their regular lessons and get-togethers, particularly as Tower Hamlets has a high number of cases of the virus. The charity is experimenting with teaching via Skype and Whatsapp and have been encouraging their educators to share notes and teaching guides. Project members have also started calling round the students to check in with them and have been dropping groceries off to people who are self-isolating.
Phoebe Cullingworth, Fundraising Manager at English for Action London, said, “English classes provide a much-needed support network for people who are often very isolated. Since the outbreak of COVID19 we're finding that we're able to continue supporting very isolated people when they need it most. Some people are not registered with a GP yet, or cannot read the NHS advice.
We've even had students worried that they will be charged for corona virus treatment - something migrants all too often experience. We have been translating information, calling people on the phone in their first language, providing online sessions to help people with low English voice any worries and support each other. Many of our students rely on their weekly classes to be able to connect with others, and so we're trying to be resourceful and provide lots of ways for people to connect online."
John Hume, CEO of People’s Heath Trust which distributes money through The Health Lottery said: “This is a difficult time for local people and for the local charities which do an amazing job supporting them. Some are using technology and other methods to make sure people stay connected, but we know that as the virus gets worse, demand will increase greatly.
“We desperately need to be able to keep supporting local charities and the only way we can do this is if we receive more good causes money raised through The Health Lottery. So if you’re an existing customer- thank you for continuing to support and if you’re new to this, please consider supporting local charities by playing The Health Lottery.”
Money raised by Health Lottery London East is continuing to support local projects and has raised over £8million in funds to support 272 projects to date in the region.
With the money raised through The Health Lottery, we have supported disabled young people and adults, older people, people with autism and children and adults living in poverty. All of these groups are vulnerable right now. Many have very low incomes or are on zero-hours contracts or part-time work which is drying up in this crisis.
Many of these projects are needed more than ever at the moment. Many charities are staying open to support people in need and many are moving what they do online, to make sure that people remain connected and know they are cared for.
It may feel like we are powerless at the moment, but we are not. You can help by ensuring that you continue to support these good causes so that vulnerable people can get through this very difficult period.