Dear Parent/Carer,

As we enter the second week of the national lockdown, we are aware that many of our pupils and families are facing additional stresses and challenges. Each of us are experiencing a range of losses as the normality of life is once again so altered – whatever those pressures, there can be no doubt that we are all having to find new ways to cope with this unique set of challenges.  It can be extremely hard to know where to turn for help and to make the first step of reaching out.

In the first instance, please do not hesitate to contact us at school if you need access to further support – whether for your own wellbeing or that of your children. Your child’s class teacher/teaching assistant will always be more than happy to discuss any matters which you feel may impact on your child and their learning.  Alternatively, you can speak to a member of the FACE team (Mrs C Francis and Mrs N Ghani), SENCO (Mrs A Perry) or the senior leadership team who may be able to support you by making contact with support networks.  The Safeguarding section on our website provides a wealth of useful information and can be found here: https://www.starbankschool.co.uk/information/safeguarding/.

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.staracademies.org

Please note: a child in reception, year 1 or year 2 is entitled to universal free school meals while school is open, however, 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 0777.

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

Food Banks

If you need emergency food, please contact Starbank School on 0121 464 2638 (Stabank Road), 0121 464 8412 (Hob Moor Road) and 0121 464 0751 (Bierton Road).  We are working closely with local businesses and local food banks in an effort to provide food parcels to in need.

You may also wish to contact: The Active Wellbeing Society who 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 visit https: https://theaws.co.uk/food/.   Alternatively ring 0121 728 7030 Monday-Friday 9:00am-5:30pm.

Mental Health Support

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

Contact Birmingham and Solihull NHS website for more support.

https://www.bsmhft.nhs.uk/our-services/our-response-to-coronavirus/mental-health-support-offer/

0121 262 3555

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

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

Young Minds

If your child is struggling during this period of national lockdown, they may find some useful support on the Young Minds website: https://youngminds.org.uk/contact-us/#if-you-are-a-young-person-in-need-of-support.  Please do also encourage them to reach out and contact their class teacher.

The following websites also provide further online guidance and support.

Self-harm www.selfharm.co.uk/National www.nshn.co.uk/

Depression www.mind.org.uk/about-us/what-we-do/depression-alliance/

Obsessions and compulsions www.ocduk.org/ocd

Suicidal feelings www.papyrus-uk.org , www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/research-andresources/on-the-edge-childline-spotlight/

Eating disorders www.b-eat.co.uk/about-eating-disorders

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

 

National Domestic Abuse Helpline

0808 2000 247

https://www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk/

 

Samaritans (24/7 service) – 116 123

https://www.samaritans.org/

Birmingham Housing Options Hub:

0808 169 9604 

Birmingham Council Housing

0121 303 7410 or 0121 303 2296/4806
https://www.birmingham.gov.uk

Adult Social Care

0121 303 1234 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. 

Childline 0800 111  https://www.childline.org.uk/

NSPCC

If you are worried about any child, you can get advice from NSPCC on 0808 800 5000 or contact Children’s services on 0121 303 1888 and 0121 675 4806 (emergency out-of-hours).

Yours sincerely,

Mr N Riaz
Starbank Road
Associate Principal

Mrs N Malhi
Hob Moor Road
Associate Principal

Mrs H Rifat
Bierton Road
Associate Principal


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