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Support Contact's Covid-19 Appeal this December

Thursday 3rd December 2020

This December we are running Contact's Covid-19 Appeal.

In our news story today, Shona from our Listening Ear support service explains why your generous contributions are so vital to the families we support.

My name is Shona. I am a Family Support Adviser on Contact's Listening Ear callback service and parent of a young man with severe learning disabilities and ASD, who is non-verbal and a wheelchair user. As a parent myself I am very aware of the everyday challenges that families with disabled children face.

I'm writing to ask you to support Contact's Covid-19 Appeal.

"Now I feel like there is somebody to take care of me too."

The impact of the pandemic on families with disabled children has been extremely challenging. On top of everything, families have had to deal with children's routines being disrupted and associated issues with sleep and behaviour that challenges, for example  - as well as coping with their own and their children's mental health and wellbeing.

At the start of the pandemic the length and emotional intensity of calls to our helpline from parent carers increased. We needed to find a way to offer parents more time for in-depth emotional support, and thankfully we were able to launch our Listening Ear service.

Through the Listening Ear service, parents can book a one to one telephone appointment with a Family Support Adviser like me. We offer confidential support, reassurance and practical help. Each appointment is for one hour, and it's followed up with the information and advice discussed by email.

Parents are often very emotional, and just want someone who understands to listen to them. We provide a mix of emotional support and practical strategies for specific challenges such as problems with sleep, challenging behaviour, parental anxiety around shielding and health as well as financial concerns.

So far, over 200 families have benefited from the service and the majority say they feel more confident, better able to deal with stress and less isolated.

Help us continue to provide a vital Covid-19 Response and Recovery

Listening Ear is just one of a number of critical services Contact has delivered throughout the pandemic, alongside expert online advice, virtual parent workshops and Facebook Q&A sessions, to name just a few.

If you are able to, please support our Covid-19 Appeal and help us ensure vital lifelines like these continue to exist for families.

I know that not everyone is in a position to donate. If you can't, you could also really help Contact by sharing the campaign with someone you know who might like to.

Before I go, I'd like to leave you with a quote from Jasmeet, a parent supported by our Listening Ear Service:

"Since finding Contact, I have found a listening ear which has helped me with useful information and emotional support.

"I now feel much better and more positive about the future. If I need help and support, I know where I can turn.

"I am the only carer of four people, but now I feel like there is somebody to take care of me too."

Donate to the Contact Covid-19 Appeal today.

Thanks for your support,