Brandon Centre is still open to support young people in our community.
We are not offering a drop-in service at the moment. We are offering the majority of our services over the phone or online, with some face-to-face appointments at Brandon Centre where necessary.
The last few weeks have brought great uncertainty and huge disruption to our everyday lives. For some it is a troubling setback, for many it brings great fear, not just for themselves but their loved ones, friends and family. Whilst sadly for an increasing number it also brings tragedy and torment.
As a nation the pandemic unites us, its spread indiscriminate, it affects us all. Whilst at the same time it isolates us, cutting us off from so much that gives many a sense of who we are. Normality, stability, comfort and safety. A common threat but one that will without question affect us all very differently.
COVID-19 may pose a much greater immediate threat to those with underlying health conditions and the elderly. But it will also have an immeasurable impact on many, many more vulnerable people.
We find ourselves struggling to find our new normal. Finding new ways to cope, to adapt, to stabilise and with hope to thrive. This will take time and for many it will require a great deal of support.
Brandon Centre has adapted quickly, preserving valuable support services with access for the most vulnerable young people. Isolation gives us protection from the spread of the virus, but unfortunately, for many of Brandon Centre’s young people, home is not a place of safety. In some cases, the lockdown will serve to increase risk. Abusive family members, substance misuse, overcrowded housing, social isolation, lack of routine and inability to access coping mechanisms are just some of the challenges that young people will face.
We find ourselves surfing, riding this current wave, continuing to provide vital support services to vulnerable young people whilst looking out to the horizon, beyond the current situation, to the longer-term impact it will have on so many lives. We know that the effects of COVID-19 on the mental health of young people will last long beyond the lockdown. For those coming to terms with bereavement, domestic abuse, cyber bullying, struggling with anxiety, obesity, depression, or any of the many other challenges that young people face, the journey may have just begun. No young person is the same and each will manage the impact of COVID-19 differently. However, for some, the fear, uncertainly, instability and confusion will make the transition to adulthood even more challenging.
For over 50 years, Brandon Centre has provided young people with a safe space, a place where they can share their hopes, dreams, fears and anxieties without judgement. The organisation’s work is perhaps more important now than ever before. We anticipate that once the social distancing restrictions are lifted, referrals to the Brandon Centre will increase dramatically. We must therefore act now to ensure that we are prepared for what is to come. In order to do so, we need your help.
Brandon Centre staff and supporters are raising much needed funds by taking part in a series of challenges. To find out what they are up to and to contribute to our cause, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/my-2-6-challenge-supporting-brandon-centre2866
Brandon Centre is, and has always been, Here for Young People. We remain committed to providing access to the highest quality care and support, and will play a vital role in ensuring that our young people are able to continue their path towards leading happy, healthy lives both during COVID-19 measures and in time to come.
CEO of Brandon Centre