SHS has been awarded £100,000 by Barclays to continue and expand our work to help vulnerable families through the COVID-19 pandemic. We were selected for Barclays’ 100×100 UK COVID-19 Community Relief Programme for the meaningful work we’re doing to support disadvantaged families disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
A silent pandemic
Jaine Stannard, Chief Executive, said: “What we are seeing is a silent pandemic – whereby the most vulnerable families are struggling to survive. Families are struggling to pay to keep their children warm and fed, and numerous lockdowns are having an enormous burden on mental health – not just for the parents but also the children. This means that children growing up in poverty are falling behind their peers and the disadvantage gap is growing.”
Demand for SHS’s services quadrupled in the first lockdown – and we anticipate that this is only going to get worse. With safeguarding referrals increasing sevenfold, and a 460% rise in interventions around money and housing in the autumn term, our work has never been more needed.
Nigel Higgins, Barclays Group Chairman, said: “COVID-19 has created an unprecedented social and economic impact in the UK, with many sadly experiencing greater hardship due to the crisis. Incredible charities, such as School-Home Supporthave 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 our 100×100 programme and wider community aid package helps ensure that everybody in the communities in which we live and work is supported through this crisis.”
What the £100,000 will allow SHS to do
The £100,000 awarded will be spent on the charity’s school-based Practitioner service and safeguarding support. This will pay for Practitioners in:
Practitioners, based in schools, will work with families to improve educational outcomes for vulnerable children. They will ensure that children have the support they need to thrive, are safe, have food to eat and resources to learn, to help minimise the disadvantage gap that COVID-19 has been exacerbating.
The Barclays grant will also fund additional safeguarding support, and an SHS Practitioner dedicated to working with children and young people affected by, or at risk of, child sexual exploitation to handle the growth in safeguarding cases.
Jaine Stannard continued: “Thanks to Barclays, we will be able to extend our offer into even more schools – and help more vulnerable families who are in need of our help. It will also help us to address areas of major concern – notably safeguarding and child sexual exploitation.”
How SHS helped Omar
One of the children that SHS has been supporting during the COVID-19 crisis is Omar. His Dad died of a heart attack before the first lockdown. Omar’s attendance dropped to 25% due in large part to grief. After working with his Practitioner, his attendance more than doubled in a short space of time. However, Omar now has to shield due to a medical condition. His family are struggling financially and so we have been delivering occasional food parcels to the family. We have also referred both Omar and his Mum onto mental health services to help them with the grief. Work with this family is ongoing through doorstep visits and phone calls.