Last updated 16th July 2020.
In these unprecedented times it can be overwhelming to be a parent or carer.
You’re not alone and there are plenty of support groups and charities offering information and advice to help us all through the coming weeks.
How to talk to children about coronavirus & school closures
For up to date information on school closures, visit the Department for Education information page.
How to look after your family’s mental health during this time
The following websites offer a range of tips and advice:
Frome-based charity We Hear You has launched a Covid-19 crisis support service offering over the phone support to help you cope with the emotional impact of Covid-19. Call 01373 455255 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a telephone appointment.
www.samaritans.org/ or call – 116123
For online, free support for young people visit www.kooth.com/
We like to help is a group of private therapists in the South West offering low cost online and telephone counselling services.
Young Somerset has a team of youth workers and wellbeing practitioners available to chat to children aged between 10-18, about anything they want to talk about.
NHS Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group and Young Somerset are conducting a survey of young people aged 8-18 years who live in Somerset or use Somerset mental health services.
The survey aims to give a better understanding of what children and young people in Somerset feel is currently working well and what could be improved.
It’s open until 9th August and should only take about 5-10 minutes to complete. Complete the survey here.
ChatHealth, run by Somerset’s Public Health Nursing team, offers parents, carers and families of under-fives the opportunity to seek confidential advice and support on a range of concerns, such as infant feeding and nutrition and parenting and child development, from their local health visiting team by text.
Parents and carers with children and young people aged five to 19 will also be able to text the local school nursing team in the same way for parenting advice and support.
Young people aged 11-19 across the county will be able to find confidential advice and support from their local school nursing service on a range of health and wellbeing issues, including bullying, relationships and emotional health, by text.
• Health Visiting under-fives Parent Service – 07480 635514
• School Nursing 5 – 19 Parent Service – 07480 635515
• School Nursing 11 – 19 Young People’s Service – 07480 635516
If you have concerns about the safety or wellbeing of a child
Call Somerset Children’s Social Care on 03001232224 or visit: www.somerset.gov.uk/education-and-families/report-a-child-at-risk/
Childline offer a mental health toolbox for children and phone/online 121 counselling service as well as safeguarding reporting. Call them on 0800 1111 or visit https://www.childline.org.uk/
If you are experiencing domestic abuse
Call the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000247 or visit www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk
Or contact Somerset Survivors on 0800 69 49 999, open 8am-8pm Monday -Friday and 9am-1pm Saturday & Sunday.
Children’s local services
If your child is receiving counselling or support here in Frome most organisations have (or are intending to) move sessions online/over the phone. Please contact the organisation directly. If you are on a waiting list for support they should still be able to offer advice or connect you with provision.
If you would like to access local support go to www.frometowncouncil.gov.uk/your-community/health-and-wellbeing/young-people-mental-health/ and contact a provider.
Pregnancy and babies
The NCT feeding helpline can be contacted on 0300 330 0700
Frome Health Visiting Team – 0300-3230118
Frome Birth Talk – provide free counselling services (via telephone) for pregnant women and new mothers in the local area. For more information visit their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/fromebirthtalk
Frome Breastfeeding group – still offering support via phone, email or text with weekly online meetings. Call Veryan on 07794 678802 or visit Frome La Leche League Facebook page. There are also regulars at the group, who are keen to offer their friendship via phone or social media to new mums whose contact with others is now limited by self-isolation or self-distancing. Again, please contact Veryan for more information.
Baby cafe Frome is continuing on Fridays at 11am online – visit their Facebook page for the link: www.facebook.com/BabyCafeFrome/
Children with additional needs
Local family groups
Many local groups are moving online, providing activities or live streaming sessions. Contact individual groups for more info and look through the Frome parents Facebook page for communications www.facebook.com/FromeParents
For the latest information on school closures, exams and support for children eligible for free school meals, visit the Department for Education pages.
Young Somerset has a list of useful free online educational resources.