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Charity

Stories From a Coronavirus Helpline

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Allah is kind and He loves kindness in all matters” [Bukhari]. This Ramadan, make sure to show kindness to those around you, and most importantly, to yourself.

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Allah is kind and He loves kindness in all matters” [Bukhari]. This Ramadan, make sure to show kindness to those around you, and most importantly, to yourself.

With every call to our Listening Line, we learn a new lesson in empathy, charity and active compassion. You can call us anytime from 12pm-8pm on 0300 303 1360.

There is not one person in this country – and perhaps even this world – who has not been affected by the coronavirus. But as the news and the reality of the pandemic crashed down upon us like a great wave, many people seemed to be surprised to find themselves struggling to stay afloat.

At Penny Appeal, we want to make sure that the millions of people across the UK who are struggling with the impact of the coronavirus have somewhere to turn. That’s why we set up our free, confidential Listening Line open 7 days a week from 12pm – 8pm at 0300 303 1360

We’ve had calls from people from every different age, religion, and socio-economic background. We want to share just two of their stories, because each of them contains a powerful lesson about empathy, which we could all stand to learn this Ramadan. 

Kerry’s Story: Recovering from an eating disorder

Kerry* called our Listening Line feeling very isolated due to the COVID-19 pandemic; she immediately began to speak about how this is the first time she has reached out to a helpline. 

She made the call from her bedroom so that no one else could overhear her, because she felt like her family wouldn’t understand or support her. Kerry spoke anxiously about how she is in strict recovery from an eating disorder and being in isolation is triggering certain aspects of it. 

Before the lockdown, going to the gym and taking part in the classes helped Kerry improve her eating habits, as well as her physical and mental health. It provided a sense of escapism from her worries, bringing purpose and control back into her life. 

Our Helpline Practitioner listened and supported Kerry with a positive action plan, and by the end of the call, Kerry was taking back control and making suggestions of how she could continue to take care of herself, such as making a list of meals she wants to eat and buying the necessary items herself. 

We encouraged Kerry by reminding her how strong she was to come this far, and that she could also overcome this transition – but emphasized the importance of continuing to reach out for help. 

After speaking to the Listening Line, Kerry felt she had been given back some of her strength. Kerry ended the call by saying she’s glad to know she can reach out to us for a friendly chat whenever she needs. 

Anna’s Story: Worrying for her children

When Anna called us, she was initially quite anxious and unsure of where to begin. Our Helpline Team reassured Anna that we’re here to help.

Anna then began to speak about how she feels COVID-19 has negatively impacted her life. She has two young children to take care of, aged 4 and 2, which makes it difficult for her to complete her job from home, as they require her attention throughout most of the day. 

Anna attempted to hold back tears as she told us that she was afraid that she would lose her job, and spoke about how her family is already struggling financially. She began to openly cry and started to panic. 

Our Helpline Practitioner worked through a breathing technique with her, to help her through her panic attack, and reassured her that we would stay on the line with her for as long as she needed.

Anna came around following her panic attack, and we worked together to help her find some practical solutions to her worries, such as contacting local foodbanks, as well as continuing to listen and support her. The call ended with Anna thanking our helpline for being a comfort to her during this time of distress.

These are just two people’s stories amongst thousands. We do not know what other people are going through in this crisis. The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Allah is kind and He loves kindness in all matters” [Bukhari]. This Ramadan, make sure to show kindness to those around you, and most importantly, to yourself.

Our Listening Line is open 7 days a week from 12pm – 8pm. Our friendly Helpline Practitioners are waiting for your call; reach out today on 0300 303 1360 for support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To learn more about Penny Appeal, click here


*Names have been changed in order to protect the individuals’ privacy.

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