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Barnardo’s, the UK’s largest children’s charity, has launched ‘Boloh’, the first helpline specifically supporting vulnerable Black, Asian and minority ethnic children and families negatively affected by COVID-19. Boloh is a word used in many languages including Hindi, Urdu and Gujarati, meaning ‘speak’ or to be invited to speak​​​​​.​


Boloh aims to make a positive difference to the lives of many Black, Asian and minority ethnic children, young people and their families adversely affected by Covid-19. The new service is a free telephone helpline and webchat facility for children, young people and families from these communities who are suffering the long-lasting and wide-ranging impact of Covid-19. It provides on-going therapeutic support and advice on a complex range of issues including mental health, bereavement, family break-down, neglect, parenting support, counselling, family stress, discrimination and barriers to services. The helpline team comprise of helpline advisors and psychotherapists who are specially trained to respond to the range of needs service users are experiencing.


Boloh was made possible by a donation to the National Emergencies Trust’s Coronavirus Appeal from the COVID-19 Support Fund, established by the insurance and long-term savings industry. The Fund aims to support those hardest-hit by COVID-19, including families and children living in poverty.


Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan said: “As thousands of vulnerable children and families across the UK bear the brunt of the COVID-19 crisis, the urgent need for specialist advice and support has never been greater. Our unique Boloh helpline is the first of its kind, and we are grateful to the National Emergencies Trust for partnering with us at this critical time.” 


The helpline number is 0800 151 2605 or visit https://helpline.barnardos.org.uk

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