Norwich community radio station steps up to support city residents
PUBLISHED: 13:16 15 May 2020 | UPDATED: 13:35 15 May 2020
From its community radio station to its support services, Future Projects has been helping vulnerable people in Norwich for years. Here we find out about some of the things the team have been doing to support the community during the coronavirus pandemic.
The coronavirus pandemic is affecting people in a myriad of ways, and the team at Future Projects, which is part of the Norwich Together Alliance, is doing all it can to support the Norwich community.
Possibly most well known for its community radio station, Future Radio, the charity quickly recognised the potential for the station to engage with people who are stuck inside and struggling with isolation, by reaching directly into the homes of its 42,000 listeners.
Social distancing measures have impacted the station’s ability to present and produce live programming, but it’s still broadcasting as much live content as possible, including Breakfast and Drive, as well as the new Community Session at lunchtimes Monday-Thursday.
The charity also runs Future Support, a collection of varied projects and services operating across Norfolk, focusing on supporting those that would fall through the gaps in other services and develop more entrenched, complex problems without preventative help.
“Realising that many of our service users may be struggling, we began calling through them all to provide reassurance,” says Grace Richardson, adult services manager at Future Support. “On contacting one service user, we discovered that the announcement of the lockdown had triggered a panicked reaction, leading him to lock himself in his house, blocking access to money, food, medication, family and care.
“For two days he was shut away and, unknown to his family or care team, he had no food or the crucial medication he needs. As a result, his situation quickly became life-threatening. We discovered the situation he was in, immediately sent an emergency food package and, after a period of reassurance and talking him through his problems, he allowed us to contact the council and his care team to reinstate his money and care.
“He told us how much he appreciated the initial call and, even though he cancelled the services himself, had been greatly struggling with feeling alone. The call and ongoing support helped him realise that he still had people that cared about him.”
Throughout the crisis, Future Projects is also:
Reaching out to vulnerable and isolated people, providing them with advice, guidance and information, and connecting them with their community for help and support.
*Delivering care packages, food parcels and free school meal vouchers to struggling families and individuals.
*Broadcasting vital information about how to stay safe and how to access local services and support via Future Radio.
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*Assisting with employment support and access to universal credit and other benefits to avoid financial hardship.
*Working with rough sleepers to keep them safe and to find them suitable and safe accommodation.
*Providing education and safeguarding support for vulnerable children with Special Educational Needs and disabilities.
*Screening and coordinating NHS and Local Authority volunteers as part of the COVID-19 emergency response.
*Responding to the increased risk and incidents of domestic abuse; providing advice and supporting families and individuals to access services and find safety.
To find out more, visit www.futureprojects.org.uk
Norwich Together Alliance
In a time of isolation, helping communities to connect has never been more important. It’s vital for our health and wellbeing.
With an ambition to tackle loneliness and social isolation in Norwich, Aviva established the Norwich Together Alliance last year.
The alliance is a network of local businesses, charities and the council that have joined forces to explore how we can shape our city to help us all feel more connected.
The aim is to create a more connected and cohesive city for everyone.
Now more than ever, alliance members wants to be there for you and offer the support and guidance you need to get through this challenging time.
For more information and stories on what the Norwich Together Alliance members are doing to bring Norwich Together during the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.
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