Briefing updates

Check the latest updates from the daily briefings.

September updates

  • 23/09/2021
    Virtual Assembly – BRC’s National Support Line: How a phone call changes lives


    We would love our wonderful team of operators to be part of the NSL’s Virtual Assembly. Please visit the front page of the SLOM and click ‘Submit’ for more information on how you can be part of our presentation.

    N.B. Please be sure to reach out to Dhan or Charlotte (email provided on the SLOM link) for any support regarding creating and sending your videos. If you would prefer one of us to record your answers on a zoom call, this can be arranged by emailing them.

    Please submit your video by Sunday 26th September.
  • 9/09/2021
    Refugee Support Update:

    1. As you are aware London RS is at full capacity, if a caller needs to be signposted to London RS then please for the time being signpost them onto Refugee Action, Refugee Council or Notre Dame Refugee Centre. Please DO NOT signpost the caller to BRC Refugee Support Service in any other areas. Refugee Support Services are split up into designated areas and they can only accept cases within their own area.

    2. If a caller has stated that they do not have phone credit, then operators are able to ask for OST to email RS and pass on the caller’s details. In this case, please always add Refugee Support in the local signpost box in dynamics, DO NOT it as a referral.

    Mobility aids Update:
    Re asking questions to the SU calling about Mobility Aids (update shared on 12th August). We can now stop asking the question, we have been able to gather the information required. Thank you all for diligently following the process.

    Afghanistan FAQ Update:
    The FAQ document has been updated on SLOM, please take a look at the document and familiarise yourself.
  • 6/09/2021
    London RS services: Update – email address added for ‘Refugee Action’

    London RS confirmed that they are at capacity and cannot accept any new referrals at this time.

    Please refer SU’s who need support in the London area to the following:
    Refugee Action Email address: asylumcrisisreferral@refugee-action.org.uk https://www.refugee-action.org.uk/project/asylum-crisis-project/ Asylum Crisis (London) –if you are an asylum seeker in London and you need accommodation or support or your support has been refused or terminated, this service can help you. Phone: 0207 952 1599 not accepting referrals anymore (updated 9/09/21 PM)

    -Refugee Council – the line is only available Monday, Tuesday and Thursday https://www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/ Infoline 0808 196 7272

    -Notre Dame Refugee Centre https://www.notredamerc.org.uk/ ADVICE LINE

    – 0207 440 2669 Free immigration advice available in French or English. Advice is available for refugees, asylum seekers and human rights-based migration applications. It is given by OISC Qualified Advisers.

    Unfortunately, we neither offer advice on points-based system applications, work or visit visas, nor assistance to EU citizens. Available Mondays 10:30 – 12:30 and Wednesdays* & Fridays 10:30 – 13:30
  • 1/09/2021
    Gentle Reminders

    Please kindly remind operators that we are only permitted to access Service User case notes when actively working on behalf of the SU. Accessing case notes, even though well intentioned, at any other time – is a breach of GDPR and out with our guidelines.

    Please kindly remind operators on appropriate use of the Official C-19 NSL Group. It is used only by the on-shift supervisor and operators as a point of contact for National Support Line related business and to convey important or urgent information. As operators, please allow Supervisors to respond to operators messages posted in this group.

August updates

  • 28/08/2021
    Please find below information received from Refugee Support Re minors being housed in adult facilities:

    If asylum seekers ( not just Afghan specific) are deemed to be over 18 by a local authority, their approximate age will be allocated and they will be dispersed into adult asylum accommodation. Age assessments can be challenged through a welfare solicitor;- so they need legal advice regarding age assessments. If there are immediate risks raised then the Safeguarding Assurance team should be called & communications with local OM coordinated for ongoing RS-RFL support.
  • 25/08/2021
    London RS services:

    London RS confirmed yesterday that they are at capacity and cannot accept any new referrals at this time. Please refer SU’s who need support in the London area to the following:

    – Refugee Action
    https://www.refugee-action.org.uk/project/asylum-crisis-project/
    Asylum Crisis (London) –if you are an asylum seeker in London and you need accommodation or support or your support has been refused or terminated, this service can help you.
    Phone: 0207 952 1599

    -Refugee Council
    https://www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/
    Infoline 0808 196 7272

    -Notre Dame Refugee Centre
    https://www.notredamerc.org.uk/
    ADVICE LINE – 0207 440 2669
    Free immigration advice available in French or English. Advice is available for refugees, asylum seekers and human rights-based migration applications. It is given by OISC Qualified Advisers.
    Unfortunately, we neither offer advice on points-based system applications, work or visit visas, nor assistance to EU citizens. Available Mondays 10:30 – 12:30 and Wednesdays* & Fridays 10:30 – 13:30
  • 21/08/2021
    Vulnerable Non-British Nationals in Afghanistan in need of assistance

    For non-British Nationals in Afghanistan, or family members of a non-British National in Afghanistan, who are in need of assistance, there is a phone line available: +44 (0)2475 389980. People should be prepared to provide as many details as possible including:
    – full name as printed on your travel document / identity card or passport
    – date of birth.

    They should also provide these details for any dependants or immediate family members they may have such as their spouse and children. If people are calling on behalf of any individual or individuals in Afghanistan they should have the same details available. You can call between 9am and 11pm (UK time) until Sunday 22 August. From 9am on Monday 23 August the number is available 24/7
  • 20/08/2021
    NSL Safeguarding advisor on annual leave

    Please note, that the NSL Safeguarding Advisor, Ataa, will be on annual leave from Monday, 23/08 till 31/08. During this period, all safeguarding queries should be raised with the SAT number directly.
  • 19/08/2021
    Update Re case notes relation Afghanistan Crisis

    For all the calls relating to Afghanistan please start your case notes using the following:
    • Afghanistan – Emotional support – In case SU is call seeking emotional support and just wants to talk to someone about how they feel.
    • Afghanistan – Reconnect family – In case the queries are about connecting with their families in Afghanistan.
    • Afghanistan – Advice – In case they are calling for any advice related to the situation.

    In case there is anything else they are calling about that is not covered in the above-mentioned categories, please mention “Afghanistan Query” in the start of the summary notes.
  • 19/08/2021
    Vaccination Support for Refugees – Pilot in Liverpool (North)

    In Liverpool the area is trying to provide support to Refugee Support SU’s who are not able to access Covid vaccination due to various reasons. National Support Line details have been shared with the users in Liverpool. In case you get a call regarding vaccination support, please treat it as a referral, collect all the details and add Refugee Support as a Local Referral. Please start the case notes by mentioning “Vaccination Support Pilot” for OST to be able to identify..
  • 18/08/2021
    Re Plymouth incident

    The local Devon and Cornwall ER team have been supporting in Plymouth this week. NSL details have not been circulated yet, as there are a number of organisations in place that have been set up to help. But, if you do get any calls, here are some numbers that you could signpost people to. They have been put together by the council:
    Child 24 hours mental health support – 01752435122
    Adult 24 hours mental health support – 01752434922
    Plymouth social care (out of hours) – 01752346984
    NSPCC – 08088005000
    Samaritans – 116123
    Victim Support – 08081689111
    First Response Service -08081968708
    Live Well – 01752434922

    There is help until Friday (it may be extended longer) a hub set up in Ford Lane Primary School, Cambridge Road in Keyham PL2 (opposite Lidl) where people can talk to health professionals face to face if they need to.
  • 17/08/2021
    Re Afghanistan Crisis
    At the moment there is no change to the actions for NSL to take with any callers, please carry handling the calls the way you have been focusing on emotional support and signposting. Below are some options for sign posting that can be found on the SLOM:
    – BRC IFT local services
    – BRC RS services

    We will keep you posted as an when we have more updates.
  • 12/08/2021 (added 15/08 11am)
    Re: male repeat caller

    We have blocked the male caller from the support line and should not be getting any calls from him. In case for any reason you get a call from him, please pass on the details to your supervisor and they will pass it on to OST.
  • 12/08/2021 (11am)
    Mobility Aids Calls

    When you get a call for Mobility Aids, could you please ask SU the following questions to gather some more information:
    1. Have you been on the website and tried to fill an online form
    2. Did you try calling the number for mobility aids. Please add the information gathered in the summary notes.

    We are trying to gather this information to be able to find out the reason for high number of mobility aids related calls.
  • 11/08/2021 (4pm)
    Repeat callers update:

    Repeat callers update Please notify via WhatsApp if a repeat caller has called – Repeat F or M and time of call:
    • F1 for the caller who doesn’t disclose her name.
    • F2 for the other more recent caller.

    Updated script available in the SLOM (Quick links menu > Scripts > Repeat callers)
  • 5/08/2021
    Press related queries:

    If we receive any calls to the NSL from journalists requiring information relating to the line, we should direct them to our Media team by emailing Press@redcross.org.uk.
    If we receive any complaints from callers who state they are ‘going to the press’, we should add this to the case notes for OST to action.
  • 4/08/2021
    Gentle Reminder:
    When writing notes regarding repeat callers, the same process applies as to regular anonymous calls. It is important that you do not record any identifiable information such as names or numbers in the case notes. Please give a brief overview of the conversation with the caller and the SU’s situation – this will allow us to identify the caller without taking any sensitive data.

July updates

  • 29/07/2021 (added to SLOM 30/07 11am)
    Update for 2 repeat callers

    Clare has now spoken to the repeat male caller, who has stated that he will not call again. She DID NOT get chance to issue any warning to him. If he does call again, operators should use the script we have in the operator manual for offensive calls. We need to ensure that we have work to zero tolerance of him being rude or offensive.

    For the female repeat caller, we are looking to limit the number of times she calls and should say to her: “Our Quality Assurance process shows a need to limit regular callers to a maximum of one call a day for up to 30 minutes. We realise this may be difficult for you and would like to explore with you other support that may be available in your local area. Clare would be happy to call you if you felt able to share your phone number.”
  • 20/07/2021
    Silent callers

    Operators are not required to create case notes for silent calls on dynamics anymore. We would still like to know how many silent calls have we received on a shift, and request the supervisors to collect the numbers during the debriefs and have them added in the end of the day form.
  • 13/07/2021
    Outbound calls script

    On the 6th of June the Language Line process has been updated with the script that must be read out to an interpreter, who will translate it to the caller:
    ‘All calls are recorded for training and monitoring purposes. Calls to this number are confidential and unless there is a potential risk to you or others, or where we are required to by law, your personal data will not be shared without your consent.’

    The Language Line process is available in the Quick Links menu at the top of the page, as well as in the Training and Advice page.

    This script has now been added as well to the outbound calls procedure and to the voicemails procedure (available in the Training and Advice page > ‘Calling people back’ section). Please follow on every outbound call.
  • 1/07/2021
    Hardship Fund Update

    If you get any questions specifically about the Hardship Fund then please inform the SU that The Hardship Fund is no longer running (as of 1st July 2021).
    – With lock-down easing and other services resuming, British Red Cross is no longer providing a Hardship Fund.
    – Please signpost any callers requiring financial assistance/advice to CAB and/or Turn 2 Us.
    – If anyone has any questions about an existing cash card, they can call: 0300 332 1425.

June updates

  • 22/06/2021
    Save & Close
    Understanding the recent changes on Dynamics, we know at times Save and Close does not work after 1 click. Please put a reminder out to operators in case they are not aware- if you press ‘save and close’ twice after selecting ‘ready for review’ it deactivates the ready for review button. For best practice, click ‘save and close’ once and click on the home button if the case has not closed, to get you back to the home page ready for your next call.
  • 04/06/21

Re Inappropriate and/or abusive callers:

This process should be followed on any call where SU is either being Verbally Abuse/Disrespectful or the nature of the conversation involves Racial comments/discussions or Sexual comments/discussions.

Please use the below warning script immediately as we have Zero tolerance towards such behaviour:
“I need to let you know that we are here to assist people who need emotional or practical support; however, this type of conversations is not appropriate for this line. If you continue to talk about this, I will need to end the call, and this could result in your access to the service being suspended.”

If the SU continues to talk on inappropriate topics (this is in reference to the same call) the following warning script should be used:
“As I’ve said, I’m sorry but this conversation is not appropriate for this line. I now need to end this call. Goodbye” and hang up the call.

Please start the summary notes by mentioning “Warning Given” and mention some key words from your conversation and let the Supervisor know about the case, who will then inform OST and we will take the necessary approvals to have the access suspended.

  • 1/06/2021
    Reminder to operators:

    When a caller requires emergency help or support with food, please manage expectations. Not every area will be able to provide food parcels, but might be able to support the caller in different ways. Please do not mention food parcels to the SUs, as we recently got feedback from one of the areas that they are concerned the operators might be overpromising mentioning to SUs that they will arrange or put the case through for a food parcel.

May updates

  • 28/05

Aspen Card calls Update:

Any calls coming in for food/other practical support due to Aspen card isses – First interaction on weekends needs to be signposted to Migrant Help helpline number and weekdays to RS/their current RS caseworker (RS are not avialable at weekends). If nothing works in thier favour the SU should be signposted to foodbanks if appropriate and areas for food if all else fails – Referrals to the area should be the last resort as Migrant Help are supposed to be helping SU with the necessaties.

NB. In all cases please check if SU has asked Migrant help for support with food/basic necessities before you raise a referral to the area. If they have not, they should be signposted to Migrant help no matter the day of the week.

Update on Refugee Support:

We have been able to put a solution in place for services users calling in to contact Refugee Support however, do not have funds to call RS and/or have no access to email.

If you have an SU who mentions they do not have to funds to call RS and/or have no email access please collect thier personal details, add RS as signpost and write clearly in your summary notes for OST to email RS. Operational Support Team will pick up the case and email the details to RS for them to get in touch with the SU. Refugees Support team has a turn around time of 2 business days please manage SU’s expectations (like you always do).

  • 27/05

Dynamics Update

The new consent script change will go live on Dynamics on Tuesday 1st June.

There is not a huge change to the script but it will be as follows –

“Do you consent (or has the person who you are calling on behalf of consented) to the British Red Cross storing and using the personal information including special category data that you provide on this call in order to provide the service and for other legitimate purposes?”

  • 19/05
    Aspen cards that are provided to Asylum seekers are due to change and it is planned to happen this weekend.
    All cards will cease to function at 5 pm on Friday i.e. 21st May and the new cards will work on Monday at 9 am i.e. 24th May. Home Office and Migrant Help have put support in place for the users, however, if we get calls in relation to this, the SU should be signposted to the Migrant Help helpline 0808 8010 503 over the weekend and to their Refugee Support caseworker during the week.

  • 18/05
    Please can you give the operators a gentle reminder to ensure that they click the ‘Ready for review’ button when creating cases and report any issues if they arise.
  • 12/05
    Call relating to Poplar Fire (In London):

    If the SU has any practical needs they should feed them back to their caseworker at Ballymore (which they should have the details for). Please can details of what support is needed also be added into the case notes clearly.
  • 11/05
    Calls for Poplar fire in London, that broke out last Friday, will be redirected to the NSL. The line has now been set up and will reroute directly to the NSL so we might start getting calls.

    If you receive any calls in connection to the above, please add in the summary notes ‘Poplar Fire’. These calls should just be emotional support. Practical things should be provided by building owners now so we can refer callers to them – (Building management company, Ballymore). However if you get calls asking for practical needs, please include this in the summary notes, so we can feedback to the building owner.
  • 8/05
    Re: Creating contact/collection personal details

    Personal Details and EDI information (if appropriate) only need to be collected from the SU in case providing practical support, i.e., referring for Food, Medication, etc. or if there is a Safeguarding concern. For queries where you are signposting, please close the case as Anon, i.e., no need to collect personal information and/or EDI information.