Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Information on COVID-19; including updates from our CEO, Lesley Dewhurst; information for members, referrals, and supporters; and a directory of useful websites to keep you informed and up-to-date with the latest developments. 

A message from Lesley – April 2020

A message from Revd Bob Wilkes, our Chair of Trustees

The work we do at Restore is needed now, more than ever before. It is a time of great difficulty and uncertainty for all of us, as we navigate through this unprecedented global crisis.

Being unable to go out or follow our usual routines, separation from our friends, colleagues, and family members, and not knowing what the future holds as the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, can understandably lead to feelings of isolation and insecurity for all of us. For people already experiencing mental ill-health, these feelings can be far worse. Our members have taken steps to take control of their recovery, but we are aware of how deeply affected everyone’s mental wellbeing is by what is currently going on. Our priority, as ever, is to continue to support our members and their needs. Right now, everyone connected with Restore wants to help – and that is what we will continue to do, to help all of us get through this pandemic, and beyond.

We’re already discovering how flexible, adaptable, and resilient we humans can be. On a daily basis, I have been amazed by the positive, “can do” attitude of my colleagues and partner organisations, and our members and students. I have been touched by the warmth of the public response to requests for help, and seeing how new “virtual” communities are springing up everywhere.

Clearly it is not business as usual; we have had to take measures to protect members, volunteers, and staff. We are learning to operate in a completely new way, but we have incredible resources. We have the technology to help us communicate remotely, and we have a dedicated and skilled staff and volunteer team.

What we have already done

  • We are now working remotely, with all sites closed
  • Our Recovery Groups and Coaching Team are providing frequent phone and video support to our members and are developing creative new ways to provide activities
  • Littlemore Shop is supplying orders directly to the hospital wards
  • The Oxfordshire Recovery College is busy developing virtual courses for the Summer Term and is linking with current students and our tutor team in a variety of new and exciting ways
  • We are working closely with all our colleagues within the Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership to ensure that we do everything possible to maintain effective services.

We have had to cancel Mental Health First Aid and other training until the end of April, in the first instance. And many of our key fundraising events have been cancelled or postponed. The spring and summer months are a critical time for our fundraising efforts, and the cancellation of these courses and events will have a significant financial implication for Restore. We need your help now more than ever to continue to provide our services.

How you can help

  • Keep connecting with us on social media
  • Share good news stories – this really helps us to cope better
  • Keep checking this website for updates
  • Keep following official Government guidelines. None of us are the exceptions to the rule
  • Avoid getting sucked into scare-mongering and fake news! There is a lot of it about. Concentrate on news sources that you feel you can trust
  • Consider how you might be able to help raise money for Restore – we really need to fill a hole in our income over the next few months
  • Continue to practice social distancing, but only in the physical sense. Keep in touch with others through every other means you can find

At this moment in time, good mental health is more important than ever before. Even before this pandemic hit, we were already deeply concerned with the rising numbers of people suffering mental ill-health. The reality is that we’re not at the toughest point of this crisis yet, and it is difficult to predict how long it will last. But, together, I know we can move mountains. Together, we can do anything.

The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Mental Health Helpline was launched by Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust in association with the Oxfordshire Mental Health Partnership.

If you need advice or help to access support from mental health professionals, please ring: Adults: 01865 904 997,    Children and young people: 01865 904 998