Wigan Family Welfare
Wigan Family Welfare

Dear  Friends
You will not need me to remind you all of the current situation in relation to the coronavirus (Covid 19) outbreak. We are bombarded by news every minute. Some of  it positive but on the whole, although factual most of it causes concern and anxiety.  There is no getting away from the fact that these are worrying times but as a community we have been through difficult times before. Some lesser some greater.
It is at times like these when our communities come together and support each other. I just wanted to recognise that this Borough is a great place to work and to live. It has a great community spirit which is already shining through with people offering to support the most vulnerable and isolated.
Self-isolation is being recommended for certain groups so they remain safe. We need to focus our attention on the elderly, the sick, those with a disability and those with mental health issues. This could be in our community, our neighbourhood or our street. We must remain safe but a phone call could help someone feeling alone and vulnerable. We can all pull together or just pull individually as long as it’s in the right direction

I wanted to share what we are doing to deal with this horrendous and unprecedented situation. Family Welfare is one of the oldest charities in the Borough of Wigan. Last year it celebrated its 60th AGM. It was created to work for the people of the Borough and on average 3000 people are supported every single year.
Family Welfare continues to provide services to our young people, adults, older people, new parents and people affected by mental health issues. Although these are times of moving sands we continue to be flexible in our approach to deal with the increasing anxiety. Care homes have closed their doors to safeguard their residents but yet we still offer support  to the most vulnerable by phone and Skype. Our counselling sessions are being cancelled but that hasn’t stopped us offering telephone counselling. Our systems are adaptable and allow virtual working anywhere. We continue to provide services in a safe and supportive way where and when we can.

In any crisis where should a charity be but at the heart of its community?  Schools are closing from tomorrow.  Our counsellors are equipped with laptops and phones so we are ready. As many of us may need to self-isolate that time can be used wisely to continue to support those in the community who can be reached by phone. As schools close we will continue to offer support to the young people we work with by phone or Skype. When this is not possible support will be offered to the families of those young people. Families may be worried about their mortgages, debt or just  the future. New families can be supported as the crisis grows. Family Welfare can help direct people to other services that can help.
We  have qualified counsellors with phone and internet access ready to support the most vulnerable in our Borough. As elders are asked to self-isolate and families are caring for loved ones at home the mental health of our community may suffer. This will place a strain not only on our services for medical conditions but also those services who work with those affected by their mental health due to anxiety, worry and isolation.
We need to communicate to make sure the most vulnerable are supported in this difficult time

I would ask that if anyone knows of any community activity to support people in this difficult time then please connect us with it.  We are a strong and motivated Organisation focused on a high quality service. We must adapt and use our resources well.
If any of our Facebook friends know of anyone who may need just a phone call or a listening ear in these days ahead please ring us on 01942 867888
I pray everyone remains safe. We will continue to offer services as best we can and for as long as we can.
I remain the servant of this Organisation and this Community

Stuart Parsons
Chief Officer
Wigan Family Welfare
St Catharine’s House
Catherine Terrace
01942 867888 ext 201