The Brain Charity COVID-19 Appeal
Over the last three and a half months, it’s been easy to feel like time has stood still.
But while the coronavirus pandemic has affected our society immeasurably and in unprecedented ways, through it all, people with neurological conditions may still have needed help in their daily lives.
Since the Covid-19 lockdown began, The Brain Charity’s dedicated staff and volunteers have been working non-stop to give support to all our clients, many of whom are most at risk from the virus, in whatever way they need it.
We launched a community support service to keep our most vulnerable service users safe and shielding at home – delivering food parcels via a ‘meals on wheels’ initiative, making trips to the shops, picking up prescriptions, keeping gas meters topped up and even helping with vet visits for pets – no job was too big or too small.
Since the week ending March 27, our small team of cooks, drivers and organisers have worked around the clock to support 63 households, completing 368 deliveries across Merseyside – an average of 33 a week.
The hundreds of people we have helped include those like Philip, who lost his job when the pandemic started and was suddenly left without any form of income, and individuals like Neil, whose MS made it too dangerous for him to leave the house to shop but who could not afford supermarket deliveries and was too weak to lift a pan to cook for himself. Both were surviving on next to nothing and at risk of going hungry.
Social isolation is something The Brain Charity has always worked to address, and the lockdown also put many individuals at risk of not seeing others for days or weeks at a time when we were forced to put a halt to most face-to-face activities and meetings.
So we launched a weekly one-to-one phone catch up service to help combat loneliness, and support those who have had limited contact with others during the pandemic.
Making regular calls from their homes, our volunteers have been able to speak to clients all over the UK – with many now spending up to an hour at a time on Zoom and Whatsapp video calls with people who need help.
For many of our service users, The Brain Charity’s regular social events were the highlight of their week – the chance to meet in a safe, welcoming space free from judgement and discrimination, whether to hone their creative skills, learn a new hobby or simply spend time with friends in our bustling café.
When our friendly Liverpool HQ closed in March, we worked swiftly to move these online – with all our virtual activities free to attend and open to anyone affected by a neurological condition.
As many as possible of our other regular services, such as The Brain Changer children’s project, which offers physiotherapy through dance and occupational therapy through art for children with neurological conditions, and our counselling and advocacy services, have also moved to video and phone-based alternatives.
To date, your generous donations have meant our coronavirus appeal has already raised more than £1,500 to fund these lifeline services.
And happily, it looks like we will soon be able to begin to gradually reopen our building for staff, volunteers and eventually service users too.
But there are still many more people across the UK needing our help at what is one of the most challenging times in the history of charities. With many of our fundraising events this year cancelled and postponed, we are more in need of help than ever.
While many challenge events such as marathons have been called off for 2020, there is still plenty you could do for The Brain Charity – why not consider holding a virtual sponsored event, or online contest? To find out more about fundraising for us go to our fundraising page here.
For more information on the support The Brain Charity is offering during the coronavirus pandemic or to request help, go to our support page.
Thanks for all your support,
Everyone at The Brain Charity