AS the lockdown eases, the vulnerable still need support and during Mental Health Awareness Week a Birmingham family firm has redeployed some staff to start free telephone support line to combat lockdown loneliness of vulnerable who must still isolate during Covid-19
Although the easing of the lockdown will bring delight to many, the vulnerable with stomas or continence issues could still be living in isolation for a long time yet. As the nation starts to slowly return to work, the extra time people had to help others will decrease and one Birmingham firm has created a new service to combat this for one sector of society.
Founded in 1701, Salts Healthcare, a family-owned Birmingham business that manufactures and delivers stoma and continence products, has created a free phone line available for the hundreds of 000s of people with a stoma and/or continence issues who must remain isolated.
It is using the time some of its staff would normally spend out on the roads, to be there at the end of a free phone line, available to speak to anyone with a stoma and/or people using continence products, who are feeling lonely and who simply want to chat.
‘Stay Connected’, is not set up to give medical advice as not all staff are medically trained, it is just a friendly voice at the end of a phone to talk about gardening to baking or even the weather.
Maria Holland, Marketing Manager UK, said: “It’s difficult at the best of times to chat with people about a stoma or continence products and during this lockdown we have seen a specific need for this group. Lockdown may be changing, many will lose some of their support network, but they must remain isolated. Stay Connected is simply an opportunity for people to combat loneliness having spent many weeks in lockdown and must remain so for more.”
“We started it at the beginning of last month, not knowing how it would work…we just knew there were lots of people who were lonely and to be able to talk to someone would make a difference to them. The Stay Connected scheme also fits perfectly within #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek’s theme of #KindnessMatters.”
“The feedback has been great, the subjects spoken about are varied from, of course, the weather to baking. The subjects don’t matter. If it helps combat loneliness then great, we are merely doing our bit during these unusual times.”
“Many self-isolating people may think they have no one to rely on or turn to in a crisis and loneliness can affect anyone. By giving people the chance to talk, we hope we can make the lockdown a little easier for those who feel cut off.”
To register, just visit saltsmedilink.co.uk or call our dedicated Freephone 0800 028 2144. You can also ask a friend or family member to do it for you, and someone will call back, normally within 48 hours. Anyone with a stoma or a continence condition can use the service.