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Youth charity sets up advice line to help young people during lockdown

PUBLISHED: 10:23 03 May 2020 | UPDATED: 10:23 03 May 2020

Mancroft Advice Project (MAP) has set up a free advice line and taken all its services online in order to keep supporting young people through the coronavirus pandemic. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Mancroft Advice Project (MAP) has set up a free advice line and taken all its services online in order to keep supporting young people through the coronavirus pandemic. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

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A Norwich youth charity has set up a free advice line and taken all its services online in order to keep supporting young people through the coronavirus pandemic.

The Mancroft Advice Project (MAP), which supports young people across Norfolk aged 11-25 years old, has set up an 0800 help line to provide advice to young people who find themselves in crisis during the pandemic.

The charity has also taken all of its services online so it can keep supporting existing users while its offices are closed.

Paul Webb, MAP’s head of youth work services said the charity’s help line was receiving between 30-50 calls a day from young people across Norfolk.

Mr Webb said issues ranged from housing, to furloughing, school work and specific Covid-19 concerns, he said: “A lot of other agencies have furloughed staff so they’re not available but we haven’t had to furlough anyone, so more people are coming to us.

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“Agencies have either completely closed or they have really reduced their services.”

Mr Webb said schooling or lack of directed learning had been the biggest challenge for some young people.

He said: “We were anticipating a bit of a mental health and wellbeing epidemic but that hasn’t really happened. But the longer it goes on the more people are saying their mental health and well being are affected and it’s the concern of that.”

Mr Webb said taking services online had worked really well, he said: “For some of the more rural locations it’s actually been a real benefit because transport hasn’t been a barrier so it a bit more accessible for young people who have the tech, but on the other hand there are some young people who don’t have the tech or Internet access and that’s been a problem with school work, so for some young people we’ve had to provide the tech.

“The exciting thing is how dynamic it is...I think we will take a lot of the ideas out of lock down and keep things going.

• The MAP advice line and email service is available Monday to Friday 10.30am- 5.30pm via: 0800 0744454 or advice@map.uk.net


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