Sometimes the families referred to us have complex issues they need support with. That’s where Shelley and Nathalie, who crew our virtual support desk, come in. Shelley and Nathalie are specially trained by Citizens Advice Wandsworth and can help families with a range of issues including housing, benefits and employment. They can also signpost families to additional support services or refer them for full Citizens Advice Wandsworth support.
“Many of the people we talk to are dealing with a variety of challenges and sometimes don’t know where else to turn for help. Sometimes the situations we deal with are extremely complicated, others just need a sympathetic ear and someone to talk or write to.
“COVID-19 has made circumstances more desperate for many families; they are confronting greater hardship, while access and resources are being curtailed. Foodbanks have had to shut down, charities have had to limit their services. For many families, everything is happening all at once and they are feeling very lost.
“Having to work remotely can also be frustrating – we’ve lost some of the personal connection we used to develop more frequently as part of our service. It’s easier to give comfort and reassurance in person and I very much miss doing that.
“But there is comfort in knowing that Little Village keeps on. There are so many committed volunteers trying to help wherever possible and I truly believe we make a difference that is long-lasting in our community.”