**Important update to East Lancashire Community Focus – Extended telephone service offer during Covid-19 pandemic #lookingafterlancashire**

Advocacy Focus has been providing a befriending service to people across East Lancashire for many months. With the recent pandemic, we have had to make some changes in the way we deliver services, however we will continue to deliver our East Lancashire Community Focus service via telephone and through our digital platforms. We understand that meeting face to face is not in the best interest of you or our team at this time and we have to follow government and Public Health England’s advice in the best interests of public safety.

Telephone Befriending Service

We are however, going to go one step further and extend our telephone befriending service across Lancashire. The service will now be open to anyone that is feeling lonely or isolated, or that may be experiencing anxiety about what’s happening in our country and the wider world right now. We know that many of you will be worried about the practical challenges of this situation, and we will commit to increasing our support to anyone in Lancashire that reaches out to us for some form of connection, at such a scary time.

All our staff and volunteers are working hard to minimise the impact of Coronavirus in our communities, and are supporting people who are undoubtedly anxious and worried about getting much needed essentials such as shopping and medication. Our service will not only provide a much needed connection and reassurance, it will help identify any practical support that you may need and signpost you to the right services or organisations during this difficult time. We are committed to supporting your wider health and wellbeing, and any anxieties you may have.

We understand that for some people, not having anyone to talk to regularly can be incredibly lonely and often scary, particularly if you live alone, are a single parent, or are used to sharing your home with someone. A friendly chat on the phone when you need it, can make all the difference to your day and your overall health and wellbeing. Advocacy Focus will be looking after Lancashire for as long as it takes.

If you or anyone in your communities needs this important befriending support and would like to access our Community Focus project, please get in touch with us and we will schedule a call-back with you as soon as is practically possible.

Refer for this service:

This is a befriending and support telephone line. Our team will offer much needed chat and conversation and can put you in touch with other services if you need them. If you are in crisis, feeling that there is no hope or are experiencing suicidal thoughts, please contact the Samaritans on 116 123.