CHIPS launches emergency Coronavirus response for families and young people

CHIPS, the international Christian peacemaking charity, today launched an emergency response and crowdfunding appeal to help Brixton’s vulnerable families and young people make it through the Coronavirus crisis.

The charity will offer struggling families urgent practical and emotional support and provide young people and their schools with a programme of activities to support mental health and keep them connected to their community. This includes:

·         Listening, mentoring and support with employment, financial, emotional and other issues through regular phone check-ins.

·         A programme of innovative online activities to help young people combat isolation, including group challenges, fitness and creative activities developed in partnership with young people themselves. 

·         Practical help for families for their most urgent needs, from assistance with shopping and prescriptions to food and fuel top-ups when there’s nobody else to help.

·         A signposting service to direct vulnerable people to the right place for specialist support from partner charities, community groups and local authority teams.

·         Provision of resources to help young people continue their learning while schools are closed.

CHIPS is working closely with several other community organisations and with schools to maximise reach and impact. The charity has successfully repurposed some money from existing grants and has launched a public crowdfunding appeal to raise £10,000 and help close the shortfall. Donations can be made online at:  crowdfunder.co.uk/brixtonresponse until the end of April.

Paul Maxwell-Rose, Co-Director (Programmes) at CHIPS, said:

“The coronavirus crisis is placing a strain on Brixton families like never before. Every day we’re meeting more parents who’ve lost their jobs, households struggling to afford the basics, young people feeling isolated and frustrated, and teachers concerned about the wellbeing of vulnerable students while schools are closed. That’s why we’re putting in place a programme of support to help struggling families to get back on track and young people stay connected, positive and healthy during a time of significant disruption to their development. 

“As peacemakers, we’re truly inspired to see the huge outpouring of goodwill in our local community right now. So many people are pulling together, new partnerships are being forged and new volunteers are engaging for the first time. So, we’d ask our neighbours who are able to give generously to our appeal. Even a small donation will make a big difference to a vulnerable family or young person and could help them make it through this crisis. And together, we can help our community to build the strong relationships that it will need long after the crisis has gone.”

Rishan Walker, Youth Worker at CHIPS, said:

“The months ahead will be tough for everyone, but particularly so for those teenagers who lack strong family and community support networks during lockdown. I’m really excited about the ideas we’ve been developing with our local young people to help them stay connected and motivated, from online challenges to virtual fitness and dance sessions and creative activities. I’m confident this will support strong relationships, mental health and wellbeing and give Brixton’s vulnerable young people a real helping hand towards a positive future.”

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