GCP has adapted our services to enable us to continue to support community members by changing the ways we work (moving community groups online, using video conferencing for individual and group meetings) and diverting resources where possible (supplementing our food bank and increasing our food/sanitary aid service).
This allows us to provide as much support as we can to our community members who, prior to Covid – 19 were significantly and disproportionately disadvantaged (by the asylum process) but are even more so in the current crisis.
All of our team are home based to continue to offer support whilst complying with lockdown restrictions, and we are able to utilise our community flat as a distribution base.
Our team have been consistently consulting with our community members to identify what their most crucial needs are during this public health crisis. The top areas of need which are being identified are:
- Shelter which adequately supports social distancing and reduces risk of contamination;
- Advocacy to apply for Section 4 support – there is a huge increase in demand for this as Home Office policy has temporarily changed to widen the grounds for entitlement;
- Access to food, and support to get food for those who are isolating, including choice and dignity in accessing food that meets their individual families’ needs;
- Access to wifi and support with the costs of increased use of mobile phones to be able to make contact with families and support services;
- Reliable and up to date information on changes in policy and health advice in relation to Covid – 19 to keep themselves and others around them safe;
- Social contact with others to reduce the impact social isolation has on individuals and families wellbeing ; and
- Remotely accessible therapeutic support for those struggling with the impact of trauma and mental health
We maintain contact with all who were accessing support from our services via telephone and various social media platforms.
Our main office number has been diverted and all calls are still being responded to by our Casework Team.
Our Asylum Support team continue to offer advice and advocacy via telephone and have adapted systems to facilitate continuing to support individuals with asylum support applications.
(Update provided by Govan Community Project)