Dear parents/carers

During this current climate we are aware that things are extremely challenging and knowing where to go to get information and advice might not be readily available.  This letter brings together some of the support available for both parents and children.

Free School Meals

If you feel you may be eligible for benefits related Free School Meals you can check the guidance on our school website: https://www.starbankschool.co.uk/fsm-vouchers/.

If you have any queries linked to free school meals or have not received a voucher, please email fsm@starbank.bham.sch.uk.

Please note: just because a child in reception, year 1 or year 2 is entitled to universal free school meals while school is open, this does not mean they are entitled to the national free school meal voucher scheme; the national voucher scheme is directly related to your benefits.

Birmingham Settlement

Birmingham Settlement offer over the phone advice and information.  They can help families apply for benefits and give debt advice. They can offer support with benefits, universal credit, council tax, mortgage arrears, hardship grants and much more.

Visit http://www.birminghamsettlement.org.uk/ or ring: 0121 250 0765

Advice Surgery

Advice and information is available on issues such as benefits, emergency situations, clarity on any letters/bills that have been received, and general sign posting to services that are still available.   Email adviceguide7@gmail.com or telephone 07960843691 every Wednesday between 10.00am and 3.00pm.

Birmingham’s Local Welfare Provision (LWP) scheme

This scheme helps vulnerable people in short-term crisis with food and essential items. It is grant-based, which means people who receive help from it will not have to repay anything. It is not intended to replace the council’s statutory duties. There are 2 types of payment made from this provision:

  1. Crisis payments are made to citizens to meet their needs for subsistence in terms of essential food and/or clothing.
  2. Community Support Grants are paid to citizens to meet their immediate needs for essential furniture or white goods to sustain their housing needs and to gain greater independence within the community.

https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/info/20017/benefits_and_support/308/help_in_a_short-term_crisis

Covid-19 Early Help by Birmingham Local Authority

Funding is now available to directly support individual families through the Covid-19 emergency period and longer-term impact.  This is being delivered in ten localities in the city, including Hodge Hill and Yardley.  In each locality, agencies, and services can get more help for families through:

  • a range of resources and support across the city
  • support from voluntary, community and faith groups
  • advice and guidance through telephone support in each locality
  • Partners are working together to contact more families that are asking for help, to make sure they have what they need to cope during the Coronavirus restrictions.

Hodge Hill Contact – Alice Bath, 07976199894, EarlyHelp-Hodgehill@family-action.org.uk

Yardley Contact – Adam Cooper, 0121, 289 4875, EarlyHelpYardley@barnados.org.uk
https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/Covid19CYPF

Food Banks

If you need emergency food, please contact Starbank School on 0121 464 8412.  We are working closely with local businesses and local food banks in an effort to provide food parcels to families in need.

Other food banks you may wish to contact:

The Active Wellbeing Society

The Active Wellbeing Society work with a network of voluntary organisations across the city to get food to those in need (either cooked meals or ingredients packages). If you would like to access this support, please fill in the form on the website https://theaws.co.uk/food/. If you know someone who needs this support but doesn’t have access to the internet, you can fill this form in on their behalf.  Alternatively ring 0121 728 7030 Monday-Friday 8am-6pm to do this over the phone.

Salma Food Bank

You can visit the website (https://www.salma-foodbank.org/) or call 07767 164 246

The Trussell Trust

There are various local foodbanks through the trussell trust. The closest is Sparkhill Foodbanks can be found here: https://sparkhill.foodbank.org.uk/locations/

Main Trussell Phone: 07474 683 927, Sparkhill Foodbanks: 0121 708 1398

StarLine

A national home learning parent helpline established in response to COVID-19 outbreak. Advice from qualified teachers and parenting education experts.

www.starline.org.uk

Mental Health Support

Struggling with mental wellbeing, due to boredom, anxiety, stress etc.

Contact Birmingham and Solihull NHS website for more support.

https://www.birminghamandsolihullccg.nhs.uk/your-healthmental-health-support-offer

(Leaflet NHS Mental Health Leaflet)

Mental Health Support – Forward Thinking Birmingham

Forward Thinking offer support to 0-25 years old- During these unprecedented times, the team and services are providing easily accessible mental health support for our children and young people. These services are provided to offer emotional support, guidance and reassurance to young people in Birmingham who may find the current COVID-19(coronavirus)situation overwhelming.

https://www.forwardthinkingbirmingham.org.uk/coronavirus-advice-and-information

Pause – 7 days a week (10.00 – 6.00pm) 0207 841 4470 or email askbeam@childrensociety.org.uk

Access Centre – 7 days a week 24/7, 0300 300 0099

Birmingham Healthy Minds

Birmingham Healthy Minds is an NHS primary care psychological therapies service that works closely with Birmingham GPs. BHM offers advice, information and brief psychological talking therapies for people aged 16 and over, who are often feeling anxious, low in mood or depressed. If you are finding this time particularly hard and need emotional and Mental health support.

Checkout the website https://www.bsmhft.nhs.uk/our-services/birmingham-healthy-minds/ for – Healthy Minds or text ‘BHM’ to 60777.

They are open Monday – Friday from 9.30am on 0121 301 2525

Bereavement Support

Winstons Wish – Child bereavement support.

Support for children, young people and their families after the death of a parent or sibling.

Edwards Trust

Provides holistic family bereavement services supporting children, young people and parents across the West Midlands.

 

Relationship support

Relate

Services include Relationship Counselling for individuals and couples, Family Counselling, Mediation, Children and Young People’s Counselling.

Domestic Abuse

If you and your children are experiencing domestic abuse, then know that you are not alone. Support is still available to you – https://www.westmidlands-pcc.gov.uk/no-excuse-for-abuse/

If you want to access support over the phone, you can call:

  • Local National Abuse Helpline (Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid)
    0808 800 0028
  • Birmingham Housing Options Hub:
    0808 169 9604
  • Adult Social Care
    0121 303 1234 or 0121 675 4806
  • Children’s Social Care
    0121 303 1888 or 0121 675 4806

Staying safe Online

Think U Know offers children and parents’ advice about staying safe when on the phone, tablet or computer.  Be visible, monitor your children online and set parental controls.

https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/

Childline

The website has loads of helpful tips and advice on dealing with low mood, loneliness and many other feelings that children may experience during lockdown.

NSPCC

If you’re are worried about any child, you can get advice from NSPCC on 0808 800 5000 or contact Children’s services on 0121 303 1888.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Mr Riaz, Mrs Portlock, Mrs Malhi and Mr Ferrante