Help through Crisis is a specialist team within the Advice service which offers free support to people in Newham who are facing a crisis in their life or severe financial hardship. This project is funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.

The aim is to look at the issues people face and the underlying causes, from their basic needs, to their physical and mental health, and skills and employment. We connect participants to specialist community services and develop their support network to fortify their resilience so they are less likely to fall back into crisis in the future. We provide practical and emotional support to people presenting with a variety of issues including housing and homelessness, financial hardship, domestic abuse, physical and mental health difficulties, substance misuse and family matters.

Once participants have regained some stability in their life, we provide opportunities for them to develop skills to become Community Champions and support others in crisis in the future. Our peer support groups help sustain these positive outcomes, as well as developing individuals’ confidence and independence.

We believe that people with lived experience of facing difficulties have unique skills and knowledge to offer people in crisis and we encourage participation from service users to design and deliver the project. If you are interested in becoming a Community Champion volunteer, please see below.

Our social work team can help with the following during lockdown:

  • Provide vouchers for the Trussell Trust food banks and signpost to other smaller local food banks
  • Provide emergency shopping vouchers
  • Provide information about local support groups, including on social media
  • Provide immediate emotional support
  • Identify support needs and make necessary referrals to in-house services and external agencies

I am experiencing a crisis and would like support

To access support and advice, please contact the Help through Crisis team on 07593 266 043 or by emailing heather.carss@community-links.org. You do not need to be referred by a professional or organisation.

I would like to attend a Peer Support Group

Due to the current situation surrounding Covid-19, our peer support group ‘Coffee, Cake and Company’ has been suspended until further notice.

If you would like information about virtual support groups and online self-help, please contact the Help through Crisis team on 07593 266 043 or by emailing heather.carss@community-links.org.

I would like to volunteer as a Community Champion

Community Champions are people who give their free time to help Community Links and the wider community and are tremendously valued. They may be long-time residents of Newham who have used our services or they may be ‘experts by experience’ wanting to give something back to their community. Community Champions have special skills and reflect the diversity of our borough. We want to recruit people who live in Newham and particularly the immediate area around Canning Town, and who have the capacity to learn and a desire to help others. We are particularly interested in hearing from people with experience of hardship crisis who can work with us to design, deliver and improve our services for those most in need.

People volunteer for many reasons – generally they will want to give something back to their communities, but may want to give their time in different ways depending on personal commitments, confidence and availability. Some may just want to help out occasionally, while others may want to use the experience to develop themselves personally and professionally. We can offer a variety of roles and activities as well as training opportunities so people can get involved in a way that suits them.

For more information, please contact Jules on 0207 473 2270