Barnardo’s launches ‘Boloh’, the UK’s first helpline supporting vulnerable Black, Asian and minority ethnic children and families impacted by COVID-19.

With initial funding from the National Emergencies Trust (NET) for one year, Barnardos’s launched Boloh on 1st October 2020. The helpline supports children and young people aged 11-25 and their parents/carers across the UK and is the only known national service of its kind.

The service provides advice, signposting and support from trained specialist advisors and therapists – who are from a diverse set of cultural backgrounds and able to speak a range of languages.

Official statistics show Black people are over four times more likely to die from COVID-19 related illnesses than white people of the same age and nearly double the number of children from Black and Asian families are in poverty compared with white children. These children are 1.5 times more likely to be young carers, with little access to support over the last six months, leaving many to fall behind at school. The helpline has been to support these very vulnerable people.

Barnardo’s will provide six sessions for the child/young person. These sessions are also available separately for parents/carers.

Six therapeutic sessions will be offered and if additional sessions are required this could be arranged. The sessions which will take place over the phone will be either once or twice a week, depending on the needs and circumstances of the family.