LinkLiving helps vulnerable stay safe in Falkirk district

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A charity that supports people who are often isolated and vulnerable – including teenagers in Falkirk – has launched a new campaign to help them stay safe and healthy.

LinkLiving, which helps people with experience of trauma and disadvantage, says the Covid-19 crisis is taking a toll on some of the 1500 people it supports.

As some of the people they support have Covid-19, many of the staff are having to self-isolate.

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And they are also finding it difficult to work in the ways they usually do.

LinkLiving Falkirk project worker, Michael FongLinkLiving Falkirk project worker, Michael Fong
LinkLiving Falkirk project worker, Michael Fong | Michael Wong

“We support around 1500 of the most isolated, lonely and often traumatised people. Many of whom have absolutely no one to turn to at this time,” said LinkLiving chief executive, Sarah Smith.

“They may be young people who have come from care, people who have been homeless, adults who have experienced childhood trauma, or who have severe and enduring mental health problems.

“These people have already been through so much.”

She is hugely proud of the way the LinkLiving staff have responded to crisis, with a new campaign, A Ray of Sunshine, which is providing additional support to maintain positive mental health and wellbeing.

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And they believe it could be of benefit to others who might be struggling to cope.

One of those contributing to the new way of working is Falkirk project worker, Michael Fong.

The teenagers he helps are those who don’t attend school and Michael finds ways to help them engage again and return to learning, through group work and meetings.

And while that’s no longer possible, the support hasn’t stopped.

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“The service users I work with are in third and fourth year of school and speaking to them I know they are struggling a bit with being stuck in the house,” said Michael.

“We’ve done things like a quiz online, which was really good,” he said.

“They’re not seeing any friends and that’s something that’s hard at the best of times, so we’re using things like video conferences to allow them to see each other.

“Coming together is really good for our mental health.”

He’s also offering advice on getting a routine to stop them “going to bed at 3am and getting up at three in the afternoon” and find ways to have a more productive day.

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Michael and others from the charity are creating their own content which is being shared on social media – culminating in a weekly online TV programme on the website

This has included advice on maintaining a routine, sleeping well, eating healthily, and ideas for parents struggling confined to home.

To find out more visit the website or to donate click here

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