Buttle UK Chances for Children COVID-19 response

During the current, unprecedented health crisis there are still many things we do not know, but one thing is clear: that the children, young people and families that Buttle UK supports will be some of the hardest hit by the crisis, particularly with the effect of school closures across the UK.

For many of these children and young people, this crisis will amplify difficulties that already exist in their life, increasing their isolation and forcing them to spend many more hours in homes that lack the bare essentials and comforts most of us take for granted.

To meet this crisis, our Chances for Children grants will continue to focus on the social and emotional wellbeing of children and young people and their capacity to engage in education and learning. We have been listening to what is most needed for families at this time.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions we will not be funding after-school activities, family days-out or anything else that takes children outside the home and into the community. However, there are many things that we can fund that will help children, families and young people including:
• Educational activities and stimulus in the home: providing educational books and toys, games for families and other things to keep children engaged and learning.
• Additional assistance to IT and internet access: ensuring children and young people can keep-up with school and course work.
• Household essentials to make homes safe and comfortable: a fridge to store food, a proper bed to sleep in, a dining room table to do homework at.
• Other emergency essentials we will listen to the specific needs of each family and make sure the grant covers the things they need to get them through this difficult time.
Buttle UK has the mechanisms to get financial support direct to families and young people. Our intelligence, gathered over the last week, tells us that the network of local support agencies through which we distribute funds – though highly compromised by both the logistical and economic impact of the current situation – is still available.

Our team is also determining how to support local agencies who face greater challenges, and where we can take a more direct role in distributing support.
We have reviewed our own resources and made changes to meet this challenge.

As of this time, we have £1.55m already available to distribute (which includes redirecting an extra £200k from our own funds into our grant giving). We also have determined we have the human and technical capacity to distribute another £1m and are reaching out to the wider sector to see who could work with us and support these vulnerable families.

Our goal at this time is to provide £2.7m in Chances for Children grant, with 100% of those funds going to children, families and young people that are most struggling with this crisis.

We created our Chances for Children grants after research and feedback from children, families and young people highlighted how a financial package of more comprehensive support was able to give them a much greater chance of overcoming a crisis.

As is detailed in our recent Impact Report, the Chances for Children campaign has demonstrated the extent to which personal, flexible and holistic support can make a real difference in a child or young person’s life.

We are committed to this vision of our grant giving, and if other aspects of our funding packages become impossible to deliver, we will continue to adapt our grant giving to help families access whatever they most need to give children a safe and nurturing environment to live.

If you feel that in your own response to the crisis, you have any capacity to assist vulnerable families, then we would love to hear from you. Please email getinvolved@buttleuk.org or Donate Here or  visit https://www.buttleuk.org/  

Parenting NI Tips for Parents

At Parenting NI we realise that parents/carers and grandparents are finding this a huge struggle. However Parenting NI are still supporting parents through our support line, Parenting NI app and online we will be posting resources including tips for parents on a weekly basis. The issues will depend on what the needs are from parents.

This week, you will find information on the following:
• Talking to your child about COVID -19
• Advice on school at home
• Learning in every day activities
• Co-parenting in the time of COVID -19
• School at home top tips
• Child contact guidance

Download our Tips for parents here


Family Support Hubs (COVID19)

The Family Support Hubs continue to be open for referrals during the current situation. They will try to access Family Support agencies during this time but this will be subject to individual projects ability to respond.

If you want to advise us of any changes to service provision or have particular needs you want to source during the current situation please contact Helen.dunn@hscni.net and we will try to connect you with the appropriate information.

There are 29 family support hubs across Northern Ireland supporting families. If you would like a service to be included in the next edition of the newsletter please send details to: cypsp@hscni.net

More information on our family support hubs is available here

COVID-19 Community Helpline

Join the Covid-19 Community Support Helpline delivered by Advice NI and supported by the Voluntary & Community Sector organisations across Northern Ireland. This is part of the community response plan to provide access to advice, help and guidance as well as connecting people to more specialist or practical support when those are needed.

To help the Covid-19 Community Helpline direct callers to the correct organisation, please see a link to Survey Monkey below. Advice NI have designed the questions to enable the directory of services to be quickly added to.

Thank you for your support.