With much of the UK back in lockdown, children and families from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities are being reminded that there is a specialist helpline available to support them through the pandemic.

Image credit: Barnardo’s

Boloh is a specialist helpline, run by Barnardo’s to support vulnerable children and families from these communities, who have been hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Boloh helpline provides therapeutic support, a live webchat facility, and a lifeline to communities struggling to deal with issues.

Boloh also provides advice, and support from trained specialist advisors and therapists who are from a diverse set of cultural backgrounds and speak a range of languages (including Hindi, Urdu, Gujarati etc).

Trained advisers help children calling with worries about the future due to school disruption, mental health and wellbeing problems, coping with sickness and bereavement, and money worries due to unemployment.

Last year, the charity supported more than 358,000 children, young people, parents and carers through more than 800 services across the UK.

“I know from personal experience that families in Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic communities have been hit hardest by the pandemic.”

Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan said: ““With the UK still firmly in the grip of this killer virus, vulnerable children and families from communities bearing the brunt of the crisis are in desperate need of specialist support.

“I know from personal experience that families in Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic communities have been hit hardest by the pandemic. Black people are four times more likely to die of the virus compared to White people, while economic factors are worsening existing inequalities.

“And the calls we receive on the Boloh helpline show just how difficult it has been for families from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities. Our advisers have been helping people cope with an overwhelming number of deaths, unemployment, increased stress and mental health difficulties and poverty. The helpline is providing a lifeline as it is reaching the neediest and providing them with much needed support.

“I fear these problems will only increase in the coming months so am reminding people about Boloh and letting them know they don’t have to suffer in silence.”

Call the helpline on 08001 512605 or visit helpline.barnardos.org.uk/ for information, and to use the webchat facility. The helpline is open from Monday-Friday between 10am-8pm and on weekends between 10am-3pm.

Simi Kaur contributed to this article.

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