Public Issues

 

The newsletter of Joint Public Issues Team
 

 

Newsletter 114   March 2020

Dear Friends,

 

Since we last spoke, so much has changed. This email will find many of you remaining at home, as the world seeks to respond to the global health pandemic caused by COVID-19.

 

As we adjust to a ‘new normal’, it has become increasingly clear that whilst this crisis will impact everyone, it will have a particular impact on the vulnerable in society. The government has been announcing increased measures to strengthen the safety net for those who will need financial support at this time. However, there are many who won’t have access to this support, or will still be left at risk.

 

As churches and people of faith, we have the opportunity to connect with those around us in multiple ways, to ensure that everyone is cared for during this crisis. You will have received a lot of information about responding to COVID-19. In this newsletter we have focussed on how you can work with your community to ensure the most vulnerable are cared for.

 

At JPIT, we want to gather stories from across the UK to share challenge, hope and Good News. Please get in touch if you are aware of people falling through the net of support, or if you have stories to share.

 

You can contact us by:

  

Email: enquiries@jointpublicissues.org.uk

Phone: 020 7916 8632

Twitter: @publicissues


Facebook: @jointpublicissues

 

Just before social distancing measures increased, we were lucky to come together with over 300 of you for the JPIT Conference, Renewal and Rebellion. It was a day of hope, inspiration and challenge. You can find links to resources and recordings from the event below.

 

In these challenging times, it is the promises of God which enable us to bring light to the darkness, hope to the challenge and new life to brokenness. We pray that we would be able to fix our eyes on God’s faithfulness, and respond in hope to the need around us.

 

We pray too for your safekeeping.

Hannah

 

JPIT COVID-19 Support and Guidance

 

We will be regularly updating our advice and information on our website. You can access our COVID-19 support and advice here:

 

JPIT COVID-19 Support 

We are aware that whilst using existing mechanisms of support is crucial in establishing a thorough response to the challenges COVID-19 presents, there are still some people who will fall between the gaps of the support offered by Universal Credit, sick pay and wage subsidies. You can read our thoughts on this here:

Supporting everyone during the Coronavirus crisis

Church Leaders

 

Are you a church leader, seeking to help your community respond to COVID-19? You can find support and information here:

 

Support for Church Leaders

Foodbanks

As a consequence of COVID-19,  those who rely on extra support to receive essential food and resources may find the next few months particularly difficult. Foodbanks are already beginning to be stretched as a result of the strain on resources.

As we seek to care for the vulnerable and at risk in our communities, supporting your local foodbank is a practical way to be of help. There are two key ways in which you can offer support:

   

  

  

  • Volunteer – the Trussell Trust is calling on working-aged people in good health to volunteer, to enable their services to remain open. 

  • Donations – you can find lists of the resources your local foodbank particularly needs on their website. 
     

     You can find guidance on support your local foodbank here: 

   

Supporting Foodbanks

  You can find an appeal to churches from the Trussell Trust here:

The Trussell Trust

Mutual Aid 

Mutual Aid Networks have been set up across the country to enable support for those who are self-isolating or who are unable to access resources. These are often being co-ordinated by Facebook or WhatsApp. 

 

You can find a list of many mutual aid groups here: 

 

COVID-19 Mutual Aid

Asylum seekers and refugees

Asylum seekers and refugees may be finding this time particularly challenging, due to lack of support or resources.

 

Doctors of the World have translated the latest government guidance into 20 languages, to support those for whom English is not their first language. You can find this here.

 

Right to Remain have produced some guidance on changes to the asylum and immigration process due to COVID-19. You can find this here.

 

 

 

Many local services for refugees and asylum seekers have temporarily closed due to COVID-19. You can find a list of services through the Refugee Council, to contact your local groups for information, here.

 

Financial Support 

You may have people in your community who will struggle financially as a result of the crisis. Mechanisms such as Universal Credit and Statutory Sick Pay are being used to provide a safety net for those who need it.

 

The Just Finance Foundation has put together some guidance on key issues people could be facing. Find their Corona Virus Help Hub here.

 

Paul has written about the updates to Universal Credit. You can read this here:

 

Understanding the changes to Universal Credit

Homelessness

Those who experience homelessness are three times more likely to experience a chronic health condition than the average member of the population, partly due to malnutrition and exposure to the elements. This means that getting COVID-19 could lead to serious issues for them. Dan has written about how we can be supporting those who are homeless at this time. 

Read it here

Renewal and Rebellion: Faith, Economy and Climate

We were delighted that so many of you could be with us on 7 March for our national conference. We learnt a lot from the day, and we will take this forwards in partnership with you. Keep an eye on our social media and in the Newsletter for more information.

 

If you joined us on the day, we'd love to know what you took away, and what you'll be doing differently as a result. You can send us some feedback here, or reply to this email.

 

Resources from the day are now available on the JPIT website and for those of you unable to join us on the day, you can catch up using the video and audio recordings. Why not take a look over the next few weeks?

Catch up on the JPIT Conference

To publicise an event or project, or to follow up on any of the issues mentioned here, contact us on enquiries@jointpublicissues.org.uk
 
>
Joint Public Issues Team | Methodist Church House | 25 Marylebone Road | London | NW1 5JR