Online therapy service to offer free sessions during the pandemic

Jessica Davis

From Harper's BAZAAR

While the news can feel overwhelming at the moment and anxiety levels are running high, there are a lot of people spreading kindness.

Online therapy service The Help Hub is offering free 20-minute sessions for vulnerable, older people and those who are struggling in self-isolation.

Therapists across the UK have volunteered to help, expanding the hub to launch nationally this week.

“The idea snowballed in the space of less than a fortnight to the extent that we can now cover the whole of the UK,” Ruth Chaloner, founder of the service, told The Guardian, explaining that the service was originally intended to cover just a small area in west Oxfordshire.

She continued: "Thanks to the kindness of therapists right across the country willing to work for free."

Chaloner is working on a second scheme for those who are harder to reach in the local community, with the hope of also growing nationally.

“We know there are some very vulnerable people out there who are already isolated, struggling and hard to reach,” she explained.

“We’ve set up a Facebook page - TheHelpHubWestOxford - where volunteers map out their area and coordinate teams to take responsibility for every street. Those teams will make sure that every single house in every street receives a leaflet from us, offering our help. Then we go back a couple of days later and knock on the door of anyone who hasn’t contacted us.”

“I’d love to see people in other areas replicate our Facebook page in their area,” she says, “getting involved and helping our neighbours will bring people together in a way that our fractured communities haven’t been for years.”

Therapists can email Chaloner on info@helphub.co.uk to get involved.

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