How a Lancashire university is helping the UK's vulnerable
A Lancashire university is helping the nation cope with lockdown by training groups and charities on how get vital support to vulnerable families during the Coronaviris pandemic.
Staff and students from the University of Central Lancashire have teamed up with the People’s Health Trust and is providing expert training, support and advice to community groups across the UK during the pandemic, helping them to run vital services.
These range from getting food parcels to families and collecting prescriptions to supplying toys and educational aids to help families with home childcare during the crisis and telephone and digital befriending services for vulnerable and older people.
Working through the Centre for Citizen and Community, which is based at the Preston university, UCLan is also providing expertise and support to community groups in areas like online communication training.
This involves helping the groups stay connected to local communities and to tackle issues such as the sharp rise in domestic abuse.
The training is also helping some of the community groups to provide appropriate guidance to families over benefits and social welfare.
On top of that, students from UCLan’s School of Social Work, Care and Community are volunteering to for social work and social care activity groups, with some working as NHS volunteers for families in need across Lancashire. This includes students talking directly with elderly and vulnerable people over the phone and taking forward any issues and concerns that arise.
Jez Buffin, UCLan’s business planning and development lead for the Centre for Citizenship and Community, said : "This is a worrying and stressful time for everyone, but some people and communities are more deeply impacted than others.
"We are pleased to be able to do what we can to support some of the most vulnerable.
"The response from our students in wanting to volunteer and help has been phenomenal and I am very proud of them."
The Centre for Citizenship and Community brings together UCLan academics and external expert associates passionate about tackling social injustice and enhancing the social connectedness and health of communities.