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Oasis UK launches national ‘friendship line’ to support those anxious or home alone during Coronavirus crisis

Oasis UK launches national ‘friendship line’ to support those anxious or home alone during Coronavirus crisis

As the Coronavirus crisis continues, Oasis is launching a ‘friendship line’ for the lonely and anxious.

“For those most at risk from the virus, staying at home may be a desperately lonely experience,” says Oasis Founder, Rev Steve Chalke. “That’s why we’re launching a national phone service today – offering a listening ear and giving people a chance to chat.”

“This is not an advice line,” says Chalke, “it’s an offer of company and kindness on the other end of the phone, at a time when many of us will feel more anxious or alone. People need community. We know from our work in 40 local communities across the UK that kindness and listening are just as vital ‘services’ as health advice or food supplies. Community can’t stop – we have to find ways stay connected even though we have been isolated.”

The number is 020 7921 4272 and is open between 11am to 3pm Monday to Friday.

Foodbanks struggling to re-stock

Oasis has also launched an appeal for funds to support its food projects running in local community hubs. “We are gearing up for a surge in demand for services such as Foodbanks and Community Fridges,” says Oasis Chief Executive Dave Parr.

“While so many are stocking up on supplies, those many thousands of people accessing our food poverty projects across the country don’t have this luxury. Foodbanks are already struggling to keep up with demand and receiving fewer donations, while essential food items such as pasta, toilet roll, and UHT milk are flying off our supermarket shelves.

“We are prioritising food projects, knowing that those already struggling to make ends meet, and those who can’t afford to miss work will be the hardest hit. If schools are closed at some point in the next weeks and months, we know families who rely on Free School Meals will also need extra help.”

Rev. Chalke is appealing for others to join in with Oasis’ efforts: “We’re asking for donations to provide food supplies, and to keep our community services running. We’re also calling on faith and community groups to join us in providing phone support – we can all do something to help.

“We have also published some ‘Guidance for finding calm’ for local groups to use. You can find that free resource, and give financial support, at www.oasisuk.org/coronavirus. Please join us.”

To give £20 to help keep vital community services running, and provide emergency food, text OASISUK to 70085.*

*Texts cost your donation amount of £20 plus a standard rate message.

Daniel Marsh