'We're here for you' - Covid support group offers confidential phone helpline

  Posted: 19.01.21 at 11:04 by Philippa Davies

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A new phone helpline has been set up to offer confidential support to people in Exmouth who’re suffering from stress, anxiety or depression as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Exmouth Listening Ear has been started by the Exmouth Mutual Aid Group (eMAG), which was set up at the start of the crisis to deliver essential items to those who were self-isolating.

The group’s volunteers have brought food, prescriptions and other necessities to hundreds of people and are continuing to do so, working under a strict set of measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19. They are also helping with stewarding at Exmouth’s vaccination site at the Tennis and Fitness Centre.

They are now keen to raise awareness of the Listening Ear service, which can signpost callers to a wide range of other support organisations, both locally and nationally.

Dawn Andrews, the project lead for eMAG, said: “If you, or anyone you know, is struggling right now and would like a friendly, anonymous, non-judgemental chat with someone, please pick up the phone.

“Maybe you just feel fed up with all the rules, maybe you’re juggling so many things it’s hard to keep upright, or perhaps you’re worried about finances.

“Whatever your situation, we’re here for you.

Volunteer Amanda King

”Our ‘listeners’ have undergone thorough training, all in their own time, as well as DBS checks – and they’re very keen to help people in whichever way they can.”

'Exmouth must remain super-vigilant and remember the Covid guidelines'

While publicising the support they can offer, the eMAG team are also urging all local residents to keep to the Government guidelines on preventing the spread of coronavirus.

Dawn said: “We at eMAG take safety very seriously. Understandably, many are pretty fed up with it all, and this will end at some point, but this virus is particularly virulent right now so we can’t be complacent.

“Please listen to the main message – Hands, Face, Space. Sometimes it gets lost in everything.”

Volunteer Mary Stewart

The group are calling on all residents to use the hand sanitisers in shops, to wear face coverings, and remember the social distancing rules.

“Exmouth has done such a brilliant job to look after each other to date,” said Dawn.

“Let’s all encourage each other just a little bit more to be super-vigilant, and to use the resources the shops have provided for us too.”

Exmouth Listening Ear is staffed from Monday to Friday between 10am and 2pm, on 01395 262 638. Anyone interested in volunteering as a listener is asked to email [email protected] – no experience is needed, and full training will be given.

The phone number for organising deliveries of food, prescriptions, etc is 07494 462 057, and is staffed seven days a week between 9am and 5pm. The group can also be contacted by emailing [email protected]

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