Teenage girl with headphones and skateboard looking at her phone

Supporting information for Professionals

Boloh Helpline

Our vision is to see Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic children and young people develop their inner strength to respond to the challenges of the pandemic.

We know that we are unable to do this without working in partnership with professionals like you, so please get in touch for further information.

Professionals can contact the helpline if they would like to make enquiries about the service, to seek advice on how to support their service users, and to refer a child, young person or parent/carer to the helpline for advice and/or therapeutic support.

Getting in touch for professionals

To contact us, or refer a child or family through to the helpline (with their consent), you can do so via:

Free phone: 0800 151 2605

Email: Boloh.helpline@barnardos.org.uk

What to expect

How can Boloh Helpline help?

Children and young people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities continue to be the hidden victims of the pandemic, which has exacerbated existing inequalities. These children have experienced more trauma, such as death and illness and rising hate crime due to COVID-19, leading to anxiety and other mental health difficulties.

The Boloh Helpline was created not just as a listening service, but to provide practical and emotional support over the phone and on webchat, and to refer onward to specialist community support. A dedicated team of psychotherapists associated with this service will be on hand to take referrals from the helpline and provide time-bound therapeutic support where required.

We are available to talk:

Monday – Friday 10am-8pm

Saturday-Sunday 10am-3pm

Depending on the issues present, the caller’s experiences during COVID-19 and lockdown, and their specific background, we will identify the most suitable method and service for support, for example, mental health and well-being services, mentoring support for young people, supplementary schools for support with education, etc.

How do I refer a family to the Helpline?

You can provide the child, young person or parent/carer with the Helpline’s number and ask them to get in contact. They can also make contact via our web chat which can be accessed via the website.

You can also talk to the child, young person and parent/carer about the Helpline and use the form below to refer them in to access the service. The secure referral form will be sent directly to an advisor who will contact you back for any additional information. Preferably, all referrals are made with their consent.

Free phone: 0800 151 2605

Email: Boloh.helpline@barnardos.org.uk

What should children, young people and parents/carers expect when they make contact?

The first contact

Children, young people and parents/carers will receive a response on the telephone or web chat from one of our team of specialist advisors who work in a culturally informed manner and are knowledgeable about the lived experiences of children and young people and parents/carers from these communities.

After the initial chat

Where it is identified during the initial call with the child, young person or parent/carer that they would like to continue having further discussions with the helpline advisor on another call, they would be given the option of being called back at a convenient time by the same helpline advisor.

Continued support

During these discussions, the helpline advisor will work to explore with them if they would like to be referred to the Helpline’s therapeutic support service. The aim of this continued support by the helpline advisor is to ensure they provide:

  • continued support,
  • advice and signposting to other organisations and
  • work towards achieving an overall reduction of the negative impact of Covid-19, and its aftermath, on personal and family life.

Once referred to the psychotherapist, they will provide six sessions for the child/young person. These sessions are also available separately for parents/carers.

Therapeutic sessions

Six therapeutic sessions will be offered and if additional sessions are required this could be arranged. The sessions which will take place over the phone will be either once or twice a week, depending on the needs and circumstances of the family.

  • The first and sixth session will be for 60 minutes to allow for an initial baseline assessment to be made of three key challenges the family or individual are facing, with the final session to discuss and note progress made during the service.
  • Sessions two to five, of 30 minutes each, will comprise therapeutic support to address the key challenges identified in the first session.

The team of qualified therapists either have a lived experience of coming from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic community, or have prior professional experience of delivering therapeutic support to service users from communities the Helpline aims to provide a service. All therapists have specialist training in delivering culturally sensitive support.

Can support be provided in different languages?

Our helpline advisors can provide a service in English, Punjabi, Mirpuri, Polish, Luganda, Ruyankole, Rukiga, Rutooro and Kinyarwanda.

The therapeutic sessions can be provided in the following languages: English, Gujarati, Urdu, Bengali, French, Spanish, Arabic, Punjabi, Mirpuri, Pothwari, Hinko, Hindi and Sundhi.

We've included downloads of this information below, along with a poster that can be displayed. 

I just wanted to get in touch to say how grateful we have been for the support offered by Boloh which has been a lifeline for us and has quite possibly saved lives! It has been very difficult to meet the level of emotional and mental wellbeing needs experienced by our students, so it has been incredible to have access to this resource. Feedback from students who have accessed the support has been exceptional and we have seen a definite change in their presentation in school, notably in a reduction in anxiety and behaviour incidents. It is commendable as well that there is such a quick turnaround from the point of referral to a young person being able to meet with a therapist.

Deputy Headteacher