Barnardo’s to use share of NET ‘at risk’ funding to help BAME children

Barnardos is the latest charity to receive a share of £12m National Emergencies Trust funding to target at risk groups.

The children’s charity has received £1.5m through NET’s Covid-19 funding to develp a UK helpline and webchat service for Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) children and their families.

The funding has been ringfenced by NET for charity partnerships supporting vulnerable groups amid the pandemic, mainly to ramp up online and telephone support.

“As thousands of vulnerable children and families across the UK bear the brunt of the COVID-19 crisis, the urgent need for specialist advice and support has never been greater,” said Barnardo’s chief executive Javed Khan.

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

“As a result, children are suffering bereavement, mental health problems and fear for the future - yet many remain hidden from essential support services and have been left to suffer in silence.

“Our new helpline for children and families is the first of its kind, offering a UK-wide support service to help these families tackle a unique and complex range of issues.

“This funding will also enable us to launch a telephone and online counselling service for vulnerable children and young people in all communities who are affected by COVID-19 and in need of support in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.”

Barnardos is the latest in a number of charity partnerships supported through NET’s at risk group fund. This has included support for vulnerable groups from among others Age UK, Shelter, Cruse Bereavement Care and the Refugee Council.

NET deputy chair Gerald Oppenheim added: “This pandemic continues to have far-reaching impacts on family life, from bereavement through to financial challenges.
“Helplines offer a real lifeline for children and young people who often can’t access support through other routes.”

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