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Community Links continue to support to residents of Okehampton and the surrounding area during the C-19 crisis, thanks to financial support from Okehampton United Charities and the Devon Community Foundation.

Community Links has been providing practical and therapeutic support for families and individuals in north-west Devon for over 9 years and are pleased to announce that ALL their services have been adapted so that support can continue to be provided in a safe way during the current crisis.

Support services and befriending are now offered online and over the telephone. Community Links, who run the Okehampton Mental Health Support Group and the Talk Matters group for men, are now contacting members weekly, ensuring that any vulnerable clients are safe. Counsellors are also providing video sessions for clients where possible. Members of the ASC/ADHD Parent Support Group can access weekly peer support meetings via video as well as 1:1 support.

Mary Lovell, one of the directors, says “Our focus is to ensure that people for whom social distancing causes additional risks are supported in the most appropriate way. We are liaising with Covid-19 voluntary support groups and taking referrals from GPs, but members of the community can also self-refer to us for help”.

Mary adds “I am incredibly impressed by the way our staff and volunteers have completely changed their way of working; focusing fully on the people we work for and doing the best they can to provide professional and flexible support. We are continuing to seek grants to ensure that additional support is available ongoing and that we can be ready for whatever changes will be needed in the longer term.”

Community Links are keen to hear from anyone who would like to volunteer with their team of befrienders to help meet the increased need for this service. Full training, support and DBS checks will be provided. Anyone who is interested can contact jean@communitylinks-sw.co.uk

For more information, and for regular updates on other services, please visit their website www.communitylinks-sw.co.uk or their public Facebook page. You can also email familysupport@communitylinks-sw.co.uk or phone 07808 529034.