Six Months Into The Covid Crisis
Dave C – Hawkspring Business Coordinator
My name is Dave and I am the Business Coordinator of Hawkspring, which is a community charity based in Bristol. I wrote a piece in May explaining how the Coronavirus virus was affecting how we were working, continuing to offer support to the many vulnerable and isolated clients we had on our books when the COVID-19 lockdown came. As I said in May we rushed to meet the new normal, preparing for working from home. It required a completely different way of delivering services, one which was alien to us; our services had always been 1:1 structured session’s. As we sourced re-conditioned laptops and bought some iPhones with the help of the Lloyds Foundation, we closed the office and moved to remote working.
Across the COVID 19 lockdown and restrictions we have supported well over 160 clients whose lives have been affected by addiction. We supported substance users, loved ones, Carers and often the most vulnerable and hidden victims, the young children.
We all probably hoped that the effects of COVID-19 would have improved since May but as we approach October, with local lockdowns being implemented up and down the country, no end is in sight. We as an organisation are adapting again to deal with the ongoing “new normal”. However, we have been adjusting the way we work, piloting new projects to see if they work; 1:1s via VC, supporting children and their families via VC during the summer holidays, a transitioning pilot programme for children moving from Primary school to Secondary school. We are increasingly confident that we will be able to continue to support our clients, our community and the organisations we work with such as GP surgeries, schools and social services.
Recently we won a Coronavirus Community Grant which has enabled us to buy new technology, making our preferred platform of support VC sessions, although we will continue to support people who do not have access to IT by phone. We found it was more difficult to motivate individuals in recovery by phone calls and having piloted structured VC 1:1s these proved to be more impactful.
We are also supporting carers in a similar way, supporting them to cope with living with a loved one who is misusing drugs and/or alcohol, and helping them to understand their loved one’s addiction and behaviour. To many family members the idea that they might be unintentionally enabling them is a shock.
One of the biggest successes for us during lockdown is that we have continued to give hope and support to young people through our Young People support service during the last 6 months. Our Youth team have worked tirelessly to liaise with the schools, parents and support workers of these quite often silent victims of addiction. At present we are receiving referrals from schools we have never supported before and from further afield.
Hawkspring’s good reputation has been spreading. We have had enquires from outside of South Bristol regarding our Young People Service plus requests for Carers and Recovery support from Cornwall, Liverpool and Kent. It is amazing that the work we do is being recognised outside of Bristol.
We know that during this difficult period for all of us Data has been highlighted in the Media that people are drinking more than before lockdown. Anyone who is worried or concerned that this is the case for them, or if this thought has crossed your mind you can contact me on the number provided. Maybe you are a family member or friend concern about someone else’s consumption, in which case we can help you too.
We know that there are a lot more individuals and families we could be helping. We know we need to grow. So, we still need donations to allow us to continue with our support so if anyone could support us in any way we would be very grateful. Every pound is important to us especially at this time.
Please call me on 01179 642859 if you would prefer your donation to support a specific service either Recovery, Carers or Young Children.
I would like to thank all of our funders who continue to have faith in us and the work we are doing by supporting us not only financially but also with technology and equipment. I would also like to thank the Government for the COVID support funding via The National Lottery which has helped us offset the cost of PPE equipment and given us the chance to improve our working-from-home technology. We would also like to thank several people who have taken on remarkable sponsorship challenges to not only support us financially but also raise our profile as a charity.
Thank you to everyone who has taken time to read this and hopefully you can share our name and the support we offer across your social media platforms.
Hawkspring Business Coordinator
Avon, Bristol BS13 0BE
T 0117 964 2859
F 0117 978 4240