Our Chief Executive, Lesslie Young looks at how the coronavirus pandemic has brought the importance of charities into focus and how our work is #NeverMoreNeeded.
During the past five weeks, the pressures and challenges being brought to bear because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, has brought the need for and dependence on charities into very sharp focus.
Right across the UK, charities of all sizes, and with different specialisms have adapted to ensure they can meet the increased demand this coronavirus crisis brings. They plan and hope to continue to do so long after this is over.
Some of the people that Epilepsy Scotland support face additional challenges. Six of our regular Youth Group participants have parents who are key workers, that’s almost a quarter.
These young people are already hugely affected by the lockdown. Their parents must continue to work to keep the others healthy, maintain an income for their family and keep essential services running smoothly.
In only one of our Youth Groups, parents who fill key roles include a neo-natal nurse, a support worker, a postman, someone working in a mental health unit and a lady working for a school providing meals for children of key workers.
None of this comes without adding to already high levels of anxiety around those they are leaving at home. Nor does it stop those children worrying about their parents, no matter how proud they are of them and what they are doing.
We want to highlight the ways we are helping our key workers throughout this ongoing pandemic, while they are helping us. Epilepsy Scotland continues to provide all our services, adapted to our current situation but in no way reduced. The demand for each is greater.
The importance of our work with, and on behalf of, those affected by epilepsy has always been clear. Epilepsy is so much more than seizures. For many living with the condition, they are affected by anxiety and stress, they contend with side effects of medication, issues with memory and so much more.
Social isolation, for many we support has been a part of their everyday lives because of their epilepsy. However, the majority are struggling with the disruption to routine, the absence of their support networks, and the loss of their already limited independence.
It’s even more important now our Youth Group continues to operate. It will provide some stability, consistency of routine and a distraction from some of the challenges that may be causing higher than normal levels of anxiety and distress.
We must continue to be there to support our key workers so they in turn can focus on their roles, which are helping all of us. Knowing their child is getting support, helpful information and has someone they trust to talk to is invaluable for these parents, now more than ever.
You be of enormous help. Our Youth Development Workers continue to contact our young people to offer direct support, as well as coming up with creative ways to get them all involved in group activities from home.
A two-hour group session by Zoom costs us around £45 and a one-hour one-to-one telephone call costs only £10.
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