Briefing updates

Check the latest updates from the daily briefings.

February Updates

  • 20/02/2024
    UPDATE: Problems with Technical Support Form

    We are having further issues with the Technical Support Forms not feeding through to the Ops Team.  As a temporary measure while this is being investigated, please let the shift supervisors know of any issues you have and send an email to  SupportLine Mailbox (SupportLine@redcross.org.uk) with details of the issue, your name/agent number/system there is issues with/date & time.  Please forward on any screen shots.

    Apologies for the inconvenience and thanks for your help.
  • 20/02/2024
    UPDATE: Ukraine Visa Schemes Announcement

    As you might be aware now, the home office made an announcement on the Ukraine Visa Schemes yesterday (19th February). There is a lot we do not have clarity on yet – our policy team are working hard to get answers and clarification from the Home Office/DLUHC and as soon as we get this, we will share it with you. For now, please see the Ukraine Updates Page for more information on Ukraine Permission Extensions (UPE) Scheme, changes to homes for Ukraine, funding and closures to schemes. 
  • 19/02/2024
    UPDATE: Mitel Status

    Polite reminder to please ensure you are all regularly monitoring your Mitel status as this can be changed frequently without warning. Any issues please highlight with the on shift supervisor.
  • 19/02/2024
    UPDATE: Mobility Aids Guidance

    Considering the recent news shared, our Mobility Aids Service is currently being reviewed and there are likely to be some changes to the way the service is delivered in the future. If you do receive any enquiries from the public this is the official communication that has been shared with us:

    “We are proud to be one of the biggest providers of temporary wheelchairs in the UK, a service that first began in 1914, and has helped a huge number of people maintain their independence. But the reality is demand for this service has decreased, while running costs have significantly increased. As a result, we are currently reviewing how we provide this support and will be consulting with our valued team of staff and volunteers. We remain committed to providing wheelchairs across the country to people who need them.” 

    NB – Currently, Mobility Aids teams are open & operating as normal which means, if you should receive any calls for MAS support, you should continue to signpost as usual, any queries relating to the changes, use the above script as guidance.
  • 15/02/2024
    UPDATE: British Red Cross SIM Cards

    If a service user is having issue with their card, not received, confirmation email not received, set up. Please direct the service user to call cardops directly on 0300 332 1425. This will help service users get answers to questions that would otherwise take us time in order to get.
  • 15/02/2024
    UPDATE: Barnardo’s Ukrainian SIM Cards

    As you are aware, Barnardo’s were issuing sim cards to Ukrainian refugees under the age of 18. We have had confirmation from the Barnardo’s Ukraine team, to inform us that their supply of sim cards have run out. They are unsure if they will be restocking or when at this stage, we will keep you up to date should they begin offering these again. Changes will be made to the Ukraine Updates Page to reflect this update.

    N.B. The Barnardo’s Ukraine Support Line remains open to other enquiries.
  • 14/02/2024
    UPDATE: SIM cards

    We had a service user call the line on Monday to say that they had received a SIM from us and now that the pre-loaded credit has finished, they would like another SIM. Please be aware, we have had clarification from the Cardops Team, that we can now only issue 1 SIM per service user. Should the service user mention they have received a SIM before, we will not be able to issue another.
  • 13/02/2024
    UPDATE: NSL Voicemail Wait Times

    There has been an update to our phone lines, when a caller comes through to the NSL they should get an operator right away, however, if all our operators are busy, there is a waiting time in place before they are put through to our voicemail system.

    Previously, wait time was a maximum of 3 minutes, but now, after some insights pulled from Mitel reporting, we are extending the time to 8 minutes.

    This allows those who wish to wait longer the possibility to do so without having to hang up and call back, additionally, it will give NSL operators a chance to answer the call before it goes to voicemail. If no operators are available after 8 minutes, the call will go through to voicemail as it happens now.
  • 09/02/2024
    UPDATE: SIM Card Request Form

    There is now an additional option on the form to Q4, ‘Why does the recipient need a SIM?’ – new option added: ‘They are a Refugee/Asylum Seeker’.

    There are now going to be 3 options to answer this question which are: Fleeing Ukraine conflict / Refugee or Asylum Seeker / Otherwise digitally excluded. Please ensure you read the options for the reason of need and select the most appropriate.

    The changes made are for reporting purposes to enable us to capture accurate data and feedback to the sim network. This change should now be live as of Friday 9th Feb.

    If you experience any issues with the form, please fill a technical support form in, highlight to supervisor who will inform OST immediately for action.
  • 08/02/2024
    UPDATE: Technical Support Form

    We are happy to announce that the Technical Support Form is now back up and running, and you no longer need to email the SupportLine mailbox for any technical issues.

    If you have any technical issues please complete the form found in the Operator Manual under Operator System Training and Technical Support, and the quick link button “report a technical issue”. Please save a bookmark of this form to your browser so it is easily accessible.
  • 05/02/2024
    UPDATE: London RS

    London RS is launching an enquiry line from the 6th of February Tuesdays and Fridays from 10:30-12:30. This line is a test of RS London opening up for limited support. Please see the RS page for details.

    The line will not have a voicemail system and is to be utilised for providing guidance to SU’s who are currently in the asylum system or have recently been denied asylum. This excludes those who have already been granted asylum status. RS London does not have the capacity to support imminent homelessness.

January Updates

  • 26/01/2024
    UPDATE: Actions for Smishing & Vishing on WhatsApp

    Please be cautious when receiving unsolicited messages via WhatsApp or unsolicited phone calls. This link explains how to report messages received in WhatsApp and how to block contacts. Pressing down on the message bubble will give more options including ‘Report.

    N.B. OST are working on putting together a Phishing (emails), Smishing (SMS/Texts) and Vishing (Phone calls) guidance document, we will update you when this is in place.
  • 23/01/2024
    NEW: Assemble Rotas are now Live

    Please visit guidance for both browser and app versions that have now been loaded onto the SLOM homepage.

    Once familiar with how to use these, please feel free to book shifts commencing 1st February.

    Please continue to book remaining January shifts onto the DRIM January Rota.
    Should you experience any technical issues, please email supportline@redcross.org.uk
  • 18/01/2024
    UPDATE: Temporary Phone Option and Greeting

    We’ve temporarily added a new option to our greeting to try to reduce the number of calls requesting Ukraine CBA.

    This means currently there are 3 options, 1 for NSL, 2 for Mobility Aids & 3 for calls relating to Ukraine. When the caller presses 3, this is what they’ll hear:

    Our cash based assistance offer end in Dec 2023, if you would like any general information or to find out what support we can connect you with, please press 1 to speak to our National Support Line (this would then route them back to option1)

    Please let us know if you receive any feedback regarding this.

    NB – as an aside we are looking at amending our NSL greeting as we’re aware it’s long AND repetitive – watch this space!
  • 15/01/2024
    UPDATE: Polite Reminder

    Please kindly ensure that you input the referral source within the Feedback Box into Dynamics. This information is extremely helpful for us to determine how callers hear about our services either online or specifically if they have been referred to us from other services.
  • 10/01/2024
    UPDATE: Problems with Technical Support Form

    We are still having issues with the Technical Support Forms not feeding through to the Ops Team.  As a temporary measure while this is being investigated, please let the shift supervisors know of any issues you have and send an email to  SupportLine Mailbox (SupportLine@redcross.org.uk) with details of the issue, your name/agent number/system there is issues with/date & time. Please forward on any screen shots.
    Apologies for the inconvenience and thanks for your help.
  • 09/01/2024
    UPDATE: Making External Outbound Calls

    Please be mindful that if you need to make a call to an external number that does not have 11 digits eg 101 (the police non emergency number), then you need to dial a 9 before the number eg on Mitel click on the External numbers tab and type the telephone number as 9101. This may help some of the technical issues making an outbound call on Mitel eg getting the error message “Failed to Create”. In these cases, please also try clicking on the external numbers tab on Mitel and type 9 before the full telephone number. Example for mobile number 07123456789, type it as 907123456789.
  • 09/01/2024
    UPDATE: SWEP

    The government have activated SWEP (Sever weather emergency protocol) across the UK. SWEP is called when the Met Office forecasts expect temperatures of 0 degrees C or below as temporary response, the primary aim of which is to preserve life. As an emergency humanitarian response, all rough sleepers, regardless of eligibility, are offered emergency accommodation.

    Each Local Authority is responsible for activating SWEP. Please ensure to check local council websites for SU’s who may require support.
  • 09/01/2024
    UPDATE: Cold Weather

    A Yellow Cold-Health alert has been issued by the UK Health Security Agency covering England from 09:00 08/01 to 12:00 12/01.

    Please see the Severe weather response page for more infomration.

    Cold-Health alerts are only issued for England; further information about these alerts, and up to date information relating to what has been issued where, click here: Cold-Health Alerts
  • 05/01/2024
    UPDATE: Floods

    Across the UK, many areas are being affected by flooding due to severe weather. You can find updates on severe weather warnings on the SLOM crisis page. Should you need to locate advice, check if an area is impacted by a flood and for any other flood guidance, please see the flood page.

    Please signpost the caller to their local council website to find out if they have a local rest centre, should the SU be unable to do so, please use the local council finder and search on the website for them.

    N.B. Not every area is guaranteed a rest centre, many are set up as a temporary measure.
  • 05/01/2024
    UPDATE: Storm Henk

    The UK Service Weather response page in the Crisis update section has been updated to reflect the aftermath of Storm Henk. Please check this page for updates about flooding across parts of the UK.
  • 02/01/2024
    UPDATE: Ukraine Line and CBA are now CLOSED

    Gentle reminder that applications for CBA closed on 14 December 2023 and the Ukraine Line closed on the 29 December 2023. All future calls should be dealt with by the National Support Line and NOT transferred to the Ukraine Line as this is now closed.

    Please signpost the Service User depending on their individual needs. Some British Red Cross Refugee Services may have separate contact details for people coming from Ukraine, please review these on the refugee services page.

    If the service user is destitute and in need of a SIM card please complete the usual Online SIM application form.

December Updates

  • 20/12/2023
    UPDATE: International Family Tracing

    Please signpost service user’s to the find your family page on the website, so that they can use the local office finder (based on postcode), to contact their local office. The service will be closed from end of day on 22nd until 2nd Jan, people will get an out of office message saying they will contact them after the 2nd of January.  

    In the event of an international emergency, they will put the information on the website relating to their response which you can use for any calls relating to that emergency. 
  • 20/12/2023
    UPDATE: Refugee Support Festive Closure

    Please be advised that Refugee Support services will be closed after midday 22nd Dec until 2nd Jan. Please follow this guidance for any safeguarding enquiries that may arise in the meantime. For any other enquiries, please ask callers to contact their local RS team after 2nd Jan. The above guidance can also be found on the RS Updates Page.
  • 19/12/2023
    UPDATE: Refugee Support Update

    The refugee support areas have now been updated in the drop down on the Refugee Services Page. This is the recent and most up to date information put together by Lucy from the RS teams, with festive closures and additional signposting. Please ensure to utilise all alternative and additional signposting available.
    N.B. unless stated otherwise, the service will be operational.

    We understand the view for this table is not presenting on the page, while the operations team work on creating a fix, in the meantime, please click in any space on the table and use your arrow keys on your keyboard to pivot left and right to reveal the full details. If unsure, please speak to your on-shift supervisor for support.
  • 19/12/2023
    UPDATE: Dynamics Launch

    Due to unforeseen technical circumstances, we will have to delay our Dynamics launch. In order to ensure we have the appropriate level of technical support for all our team, we’ve made the decision to launch early in the new year instead. We apologise for the delay, please continue using the current Dynamics database and continue to utilise the trainings materials for the new tool ahead of the launch, you can do so by following the link in the banner on the home page of the Operator Manual or click here
  • 11/12/2023
    UPDATE: Delayed Dynamics Launch

    Due to unforeseen technical circumstances, we will have to delay our Dynamics launch, we are working on it and aiming to launch it with in this week. We apologise for the delay, please continue using the current Dynamics database and continue to utilise the trainings materials for the new tool ahead of the launch, you can do so by following the link in the banner on the home page of the Operator Manual or click here
  • 06/12/2023
    UPDATE: Gentle Reminder

    Please exercise caution when signposting to the Home Office. It may be harmful for someone with insecure immigration status to present to the Home Office without them first seeking legal advice. Insecure immigration status may include someone who has overstayed a visa, has not been reporting to the Home Office or is undocumented. If you are unsure of immigration status, please signpost first to a legal advisor or their local refugee support advice service.

    The above information has also been added to the Refugee Support Page, under the drop down menu.
  • 01/12/2023
    UPDATE: Food Support Process

    Gentle reminder, please remember to visit all relevant signposting first with a service user in need of food support, including signposts on the Operator Manual and local food support that can be found on their local council website. Once they have contacted these signposts if they are still requiring support, they can call us back to explore the possibility and eligibility before a Food Support form is submitted. Please remember to manage expectations that we ‘may’ be able to support.

    Also, the Management Team are currently reviewing the whole Food Process to see if anything needs to be edited/added/removed from the process. Possible additions would be a cut of time of calls received for food requests to be processed that day, as well as an FAQ document. Please look out for further updates over the coming weeks.

November Updates

  • 30/11/2023
    UPDATE: NEW Media Process

    If you receive a call from a journalist, please refer them to the media team on 020 7877 7557 or press@redcross.org.uk

    If you receive a call, you suspect may be from a journalist or person who has recorded the conversation, please alert your supervisor who will contact the coordinators on duty that day. 

    Guidance can also be found in the Operator Training & Advice section on SLOM
  • 29/11/2023
    UPDATE: High Intensity Callers

    We are receiving high volumes of calls from the same callers of late, should you receive a call experiencing silent, inappropriate, or abusive behaviour, please remember to use scripts as guidance and refer to the guidance on silent calls to support you. Continue to report any experiences of this and the team will do due diligence to ensure appropriate actions are taken.

    The caller where some of you have already reported abusive and racist experiences has now had their number blocked from the line.

    Please remember there is the wellbeing support on the operator manual and you may also reach out to your supervisor and/or group lead or manager for additional support.
  • 29/11/2023
    UPDATE: Severe Weather Emergency Protocol

    The Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) should be active in East Midlands, West Midlands, Yorkshire & Humberside, Northeast and Northwest until 5th December due to the cold weather warning.

    Anyone rough sleeping should be able to access hostel or shelter no matter their recourse to public funds.  

    Please encourage people to access their Local Authority Housing or contact Streetlink
  • 29/11/2023
    UPDATE: RS CLOSURE
    Please be advised that the West Midlands RS is now unfortunately closed to all enquiries.
    They will re open on the 4th December.
  • 27/11/2023
    UPDATE: The New and Improved Dynamics is here!!

    As you must be aware we have been working on getting the updated Dynamics system ready and we are pleased to share that the training videos are now ready for you to watch and get yourself upskilled for the go live date of 11th December 2023. The training videos will be available on the Operator Manual from today Monday 27th November 2023 for you to watch and upskill yourself, we will also have the link of the training/sandbox version of the new dynamics updated on the operator manual by today EOD for easy access.

    Open Zoom rooms will be set up starting the 29th November till the 8th December between 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM to address any technical issues and answer any question you might have, links o these will be uploaded on Operator Manual soon.

    Please Note – Effective 11th December 2023 we are moving to the New Dynamics database and will not be using the older version anymore, please ensure you watch the training videos, take time to practice on the training version and join the zoom rooms if you need any clarity.
  • 24/11/2023
    UPDATE: Ukraine Cash Based Assistance

    The offer for Ukraine Cash Based Assistance (CBA) will shortly be ending. Applications should be made no later than 14th December for documented arrivals into the UK on or before 30th November. Any Ukrainians eligible for the assistance will still receive it if they submit their application before this date. More details will be shared in this weeks newsletter
  • 17/11/2023
    UPDATE: Pre-Visa Family Reunion advice line winter closure

    Please be aware that Red Cross Family Reunion Enquiries Service will be closed to new enquiries for the winter period between 1st December 2023 and 8th January 2024.  

    If you receive callers requesting information about how to apply for refugee family reunion visa during this time, please advise them to contact the advice line after 8th January. There is no alternative signpost due to the limited availability of legal advice for family reunion enquiries.  

14/11/2023
UPDATE: Caller with suicidal ideation who feels stuck with life, name beginning with J.
Please ensure you:  
-Provide psychosocial support using the calmer framework   
– Signpost to relevant organisation/s  
– Manage callers’ expectations.   
– Include any scripts used in your case notes
  
NB-If the SU happens to be at risk of harm or in immediate danger, please call 999.  
NB-Reminder to ensure every call is treated as a fresh call, including providing adequate signposts, dealing with silent calls per the guidance on the operator manual, and ensuring case notes are added for every call handled.
  
Guidance found on SLOM: Operator Manual > Operator Training & advice > Dealing with difficult calls > select which guidance you need i.e., silent or abusive callers or see here

14/11/2023
We listened to your feedback, and the following callers are now added to the additional line.
Please follow the below guidance for each caller.  

  • Silent caller that at times gets through using abusive language/inappropriate behaviour 
    Allow caller to feel heard, giving them time and space to talk, providing the psychosocial support they require. If you experience any abusive language/behaviour during your calls, please use the appropriate scripts found in SLOM, include any key details in your summary notes and inform your supervisor. 
  • Caller by the initials MW tends to struggle with anxiety/panic attacks.  
    Continue providing psychosocial support, use the calmer framework to support your approach on the call to help calm them down and, attempt to provide any relevant signposting. Empower the caller by encouraging them to ring emergency services if they are experiencing a medical emergency, as they are better equipped, as well as expressing health concerns/emergencies to their carers’.  
    Try not to ‘panic’ and jump to thinking this is a safeguarding concern. 
    Additionally, this caller can at times phone us nearing the end of day, please manage callers’ expectations re call length/time and use script for ending a call as guidance.  

Use the following to access the guidance to dealing with these call types: Go on to the Operator Manual > Operator Training Advice > Dealing with difficult calls.   
We understand how tough it is to deal with such callers, thank you, your support is appreciated. We strongly encourage you to be mindful when joining the additional line, take care and prioritise one’s wellbeing.  
Found here: Operator Manual > Operators > Wellbeing for operators or Wellbeing for Supervisors & Operators – Operator Manual (redcross.org.uk) 

  • 06/11/2023
    UPDATE: Refugee Support & Safeguarding
    Going forward Safeguarding will not be asking us to contact refugee support as one of their actions. Please review the operator manual to establish if the local RS team are currently open or not. If the local RS is OPEN and you feel that a referral would be relevant for this service user, please add this as an action in your case notes for the Operations Team to action. (ie no money or credit to call etc) If the local RS is CLOSED, as per the current guidelines we are unable to refer any cases at this time. This includes Safeguarding cases. Please provide alternative signposting for this action and add only the SAT actions to the case notes for the Operations Team to take action.

    NB – We are working in the background with RS & SAT to provide some further guidance on questions to ask and looking at any further possible signposts for London or generalised when an RS office is closed. Hopefully more to come on this soon.
  • 01/11/2023
    UPDATE: Technical Support Form Issues
    We are still having issues with the Technical Support Form not feeding through to the Ops Team. As a temporary measure while this is being investigated, please let the shift supervisors know of any issues you have and send them a screen shot.

October Updates

  • 23/10/2023
    UPDATE: Storm Babet
    Storm Babet & Severe weather warnings Several warnings for ice and heavy rainfall are developing especially in the regions Scotland, North East and Central England. Currently ‘Storm Babet’ warnings have ended however, you may see any relevant updates in the crisis page on the operator manual. In order to help support our reporting for data capturing purposes, we ask that you include the key words ‘STORM BABET’ in the top of your case notes. We have also created a section under the Key words section on the polite reminders page where you can find all ‘keywords’ we are asking you to include in case notes along with a brief description, the purpose of this is to keep this information in one place and hopefully make it easier for you to keep track of what we are asking of you. Thank you.
  • 17/10/2023
    UPDATE: International Family Tracing Team:
    We have updated our webpage to explain if we can help look for missing family or not, in relation to the conflict in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and the earthquake in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, there are limits to what the team can do, more information is on the webpage for you to refer to, if you get a call from an SU asking for help.
  • 13/10/2023
    Polite Reminder: DRIM
    If you are not able to sign up for a shift on DRIM due to any reason or joining last minute or mid shift due to ask from support team/supervisor, please remember to send an email to the rota mailbox on ukosupportlinerota@redcross.org.uk to ensure that the operations support team can add you on DRIM.
  • 12/10/2023
    UPDATE: Psychosocial Support Line for UK Nationals in Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories
    A psychosocial support line has been set up by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office for UK nationals, to offer specialist support for British Nationals (and FCDO staff) caught in the Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories to call. Please signpost relevant callers to this support line with details including open hours and contact information, which can be found on the crisis updates page
  • 10/10/2023
    UPDATE: Events in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory & The earthquake in Afghanistan

    There are devastating events in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory and crises in Afghanistan. We now have updates to share which can be found in the crisis section of the Operator Manual – The earthquake in Afghanistan & Events in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory

    Appeals have been launched to support with the BRC work and involvement to support, please signpost donations here for Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territory Appeal & Afghanistan earthquake: thousands of people affected here.

    Please use the following keyword at the top of your case notes:
    ISRAEL & PALESTINE
    AFGHNISTAN EARTHQUAKE

    Looking After Yourself:
    These will understandably feel like bleak times. At a moment like this, we urge each of you to take care of yourselves and each other. Take breaks where you need to and access the support of your supervisors, group leads and coordinators. I want to highlight that we have a range of resources available to support your mental and emotional health, and we would encourage you to explore them if helpful.
  • 9/10/2023
    UPDATE: Scotland has had severe weather over the weekend, an update of the situation is provided in the Scotland severe weather sitrep here please keep an eye for updates as we monitor whether the BRC is need to assist with any ongoing efforts.
  • 06/10/2023
    UPDATE: Silent Caller
    It has been highlighted that we have received high volumes of silent calls on NSL since Wednesday this week. This is currently being investigated in the background, for now please revisit the guidance on silent callers which you can find in SLOM here
  • 04/10/2023
    UPDATE: Polite Reminder
    In the interest of keeping the Supervisor up to date, we politely request that operators reach out to the supervisor on shift in the event of a safeguarding concern prior to calling SAT.

    In the event of a 999 call being made however, this is not a requirement. An update should be offered to the supervisor immediately following the 999 call and the call to SAT.

    As a reminder, operators are not required to follow the SAT actions given, they are to be reviewed by the Operational Support Team in the first instance, who will notify the supervisor if any call backs are required in relation to the case.
  • 03/10/2023
    UPDATE: MyApps
    You will be aware that we are moving away from One portal and are moving to MS Authenticator. We now will be moving to MyApps in place of One login. The premise is the same, it is a page that has tiles you can click through to access your applications. It also has some optional additional features, such as customising your view and adding some of your own favourite links. If you want to know more about these special features, please click here: My Apps video guide

September Updates

  • 28/09/2023
    UPDATE: VL Deploy Support
    Our colleagues on the volunteer support line have recently done a bit of a push to promote the volunteer support line and unfortunately one of the promotional materials  that was shared had the NSL number rather than the VSL (as you are probably aware, there is only one digit difference). This error has now been rectified but just wanted to make you aware in case the NSL get any calls from BRC volunteers. If this does happen operators could either transfer any calls or share the correct number 0808 196 3652. 

    FYI for transfers – On Mitel the VSL is listed as VL Deploy Support
  • 25/09/2023
    UPDATE: Password Protecting SLOM
    To protect the SLOM from public use, we have implemented a password that will be required to access the resources inside. The Password will be ‘OperatorNSL1’, the same used for the Safeguarding and Operators section, which will also remain password protected.
  • 18/09/2023
    UPDATE: Each time there is an incident that our colleagues in crisis & emergency response are made aware of, they send us an update of the situation and any support BRC are providing. For awareness we have now begun adding these updates to the operator manual on the ‘Crisis Updates‘ page. If you have any feedback about these updates, including their usefulness, please share with the team.
  • 14/09/2023
    UPDATE: Managing expectations of callers when making a signpost or referral to Refugee Support or Restoring Family Links service

    Please can we ensure that expectations are well managed where callers are signposted on to a local RSRFL team. Due to extremely high demand for our support services at the current time there may be longer wait times for new enquiries than normal. Enquirers may not be contacted immediately after their enquiry is received and they may be placed on a waiting list. It is not possible to give a time frame for how long it will take for someone to be contacted due to the crisis response nature of our service. Cases may have to be prioritised according to level of need rather than the time that they have been waiting.

    When caller alerts us that they have been signposted to us by Migrant Help, please ask the caller WHAT they asked MH for help with. This detail should be written in call notes please. 
  • 14/09/2023
    UPDATE: Libya Floods

    Please use Keyword ‘Libya’ at the top of your case notes, if you have received a call of this nature.

    On Monday 11th September, we shared news of the emergency response and appeal launched, following the earthquake in Morocco, which has already raised over £2 million.

    Sadly, we have an update on our second emergency appeal in under a week, in response to the floods that have devastated areas in northeastern Libya. Libyan Red Crescent teams are on the ground in the affected areas, evacuating people, providing first aid and helping the ongoing search and rescue efforts. The Libyan Red Crescent teams are also assessing the scale of the emergency, and what is needed.  

    Whilst the situation unfolds in Libya, it’s clear that there are urgent and immediate needs to respond to and so we have launched an emergency appeal to help those affected – please share this appeal with your friends and family. A Libya Floods page has now been added to the Operator Manual. We will continue to update when we know more.

    Colleagues who have family, friends, and connections to Libya and to Morocco will be affected by these recent and shocking events, as well as those of you who may be affected by taking these calls. If you’re struggling, please talk to your group leads and supervisors.

    Our Psychosocial Support team is working to set up a safe space for staff and volunteers who are personally impacted by the recent earthquake and floods or are part of the region’s diaspora. If you need additional support, you’ll find our wellbeing resources on RedRoom, including our Employee Assistance Programme, which can offer counselling.
  • 11/09/2023
    UPDATE: Morocco Earthquake

    Please use Keyword ‘Morocco’ at the top of your case notes, if you have recieved a call of this nature.

    Late on Friday 9th September, a 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck Morocco. The local Moroccan Red Crescent are on the ground responding to the earthquake, including providing first aid to those injured and emotional support to people in shock.

    We’ve launched an emergency appeal to respond to the immediate and severe needs for those affected. Please signpost anyone wanting to donate to the appeal here.

    A Morocco Earthquake Page has been added to the ‘Crisis’ section in the quick links of the Operator Manual. We will continue to update this page with more information on what’s happening.

    We understand these calls may be distressing and upsetting. If you have been affected by a call, please utilise the support of our wellbeing resources available on RedRoom, and if you need additional support, please reach out to your supervisors and group leads.
  • 11/09/2023
    UPDATE: Age Dispute Regular Caller

    We have an Age Dispute caller (initials are MAHI), who has been calling the line most days and sometimes multiple times during the day. These calls may be quite distressing as the service user may be crying and say they do not know what is going on.

    The case has already been raised with SAT and a referral made to Local Child Services, an age assessment has been carried out by the Home Office and the local authority and the SU has been assessed as 23, which means that child services have closed their case. 

    If the SU calls back please continue to provide Psychosocial support and explain that NSL are unable to do anything further, apart from providing psychosocial support.  

    Re-iterate that we have made a referral to BRC Refugee Support, and they will be in contact with the SU in due course, but this may take some time. Also urge the SU to find a solicitor, as they would be the ones that would need to help them with their age dispute (suggested signposting can be found on their case). As the SU is illiterate and confused as to what is happening, their hotel reception have agreed to help them with taking any details and making the calls.
  • 07/09/2023
    UPDATE: Essex Mental Health Independent Inquiry

    If we receive any calls from people requesting support in relation to the Essex Mental Health Inquiry, that they be directed to the Inquiry team themselves, this is the website under ‘Home – Essex Mental Health Independent Inquiry’.

    On 28 June 2023, it was announced that the Essex Mental Health Independent Inquiry will be granted statutory status under the Inquiries Act 2005. You can read an update from the Inquiry on this change on the website above.
  • 04/09/2023
    UPDATE: Crisis Page

    Our Crisis update page is now password protect. Please use your safeguarding password to access the page.
  • 01/09/2023
    UPDATE: SIM Offer

    The SIM offer at the BRC is not just for Ukrainians! The application form can be found on the operator manual or using this link. We have two sim offers available for callers.

    One of the two offers is still for Ukrainians only and to make this type of application on the form for question 4, we select that this sim is for someone who is “fleeing conflict in Ukraine

    The second offer is open for ANYONE in the UK and to make this application on the form for question 4, we select that this sim is for someone who is “Otherwise digitally excluded

    This form can also be found on the local referrals page. In this instance NSL operators can use this link without having to transfer the call to the Ukraine Line.
  • 01/09/2023
    UPDATE: Refugee Service Office in Bristol

    The Refugee Support (RS) office based in Bristol is temporary closed till the 25th of September, due to lack of capacity. The team will not be picking up any new cases, however, please signpost to nearest RS in the meantime based in Plymouth, and the International Family Tracing team, from the operator manual. 

August Updates

  • 25/08/2023
    REMINDER: Referral Source Dynamics

    When Migrant Help have signposted or referred someone to British Red Cross, please make sure that you tick and fill in the referral source box on dynamics, located in the feedback section, to indicate Migrant Help as the referring organisation. Lucy Simmonds, our refugee services lead for NSL, has been asked to contribute some statistics, that illustrate how much work Migrant Help are sending to BRC.
  • 23/08/2023
    UPDATE: Mobility Aids Signposting

    Since adding Mobility Aids as the 3rd option to the Support Line, we have noticed an increasing number of cases, whereby the service user is being asked to hang up, call back on the same number and press option 3 by operators.

    Alternatively, we would like to suggest the following approach to these calls. Please offer the local BRC Mobility Aids contact details to the service user and advise that if they require further support in the future and need the general number, they should call back on 0808 196 3651 and select option 3 for Mobility Aids. This will improve service user experience and prevent them from having to wait patiently through the automated message and options again.
  • 09/08/2023
    UPDATE: Antitrafficking Team

    Anti-Trafficking team will pause its direct work with clients between 5pm on Friday 11th August and 9am on Tuesday 29th August 2023 so that they can take forward Anti Trafficking development work, L&D and planning pieces, and to support staff wellbeing. During this time the team will not be taking referrals or providing advice. A small team will continue to monitor the enquiries email address (antitrafficking@redcross.org.uk) and our phone line (0808 196 8880), they will resume triaging requests and responding to any non-urgent enquiries from the 29th August.

    Some more information will also be added in this week’s Newsletter, please keep an eye out.
  • 03/08/2023
    UPDATE: The Illegal Migration Act (IMA)

    The Illegal Migration Act (IMA) became law on 20th July 2023 – the changes in the IMA can affect anyone that arrived in the UK after 20th July 2023.   

    It is still unclear how the new law will be applied in practice; it is expected that many of the changes will be implemented in early 2024 but it is too soon to know how the process will look.   

    The following is provided for information only.  Any further guidance on how to signpost callers impacted by the IMA will be provided as soon as the practical implications are clear.   

    Read more here, this information can also be found at the end of the RS Q&A.
  • 01/08/2023
    NEW: Notice to move to the Bibby Stockholm (Asylum Accommodation Barge)

    It is understood that individuals have started to receive notice (letters from Home Office) that they will be moved to the asylum barge Bibby Stockholm that is docked at Portland Port in Dorset. It is expected the the Home Office will initially move 50 people from hotels in the South West to the barge. However, this will increase to 500 at full capacity. The barge will be section 95, full board accommodation. 

    If you receive any enquiries from individuals that have received notice that they will be moved, please signpost the to the BRC Refugee Support team in the South West. The team are currently working with local stakeholders to identify support needs and provide casework where necessary.
  • 01/08/2023
    UPDATE: RS London

    RS London should reopen from next Monday 7th August rather than today, 1st August. We are still waiting for confirmation, but unless you hear otherwise, please assume the service is still closed. In the meantime, please continue to offer alternative signposting.

July Updates

  • 20/07/2023 PM
    UPDATE: SAT TUESDAY MORNINGS

    Please be aware, that the Safeguarding Assurance Team, have a meeting 09:30-11:00 each Tuesday morning.

    During these hours, please call the usual number 0300 004 0377 where a voicemail facility will be available and leave the message in the usual way and a member of SAT will contact you back.

    Should this not be an option (Sometimes due to influx of calls or tech issues) and your call is not urgent, please call them back after 11:00am.

    If the case is urgent, please speak to your supervisor who should then reach out to the Ops Support Team. Ops Support will contact the SAT team and request them to contact the operator via teams.
                      
  • 07/07/2023 PM
    UPDATE: Abusive Caller

    There is a particular caller phoning the line and being abusive to both NSL & Language Line operators, we currently have this caller under review and will be monitoring their calls this week.

    If you answer a call at any point where the caller is being abusive, please remember that we simply do not tolerate this and we advise you to refer to the ‘Abusive Caller‘ script on SLOM and end the call should the abuse continue. Please also ensure your case notes are updated.
                      
  • 07/07/2023
    UPDATE: Automated Feedback Survey

    Last July, we introduced the Automated feedback survey. As a reminder, if operators could please ask callers at the end of the call “If you would like to give feedback on the call today, please stay on the line, this will take no longer than 2 minutes. Otherwise please feel free to hang up”. The caller feedback script can be found in the quick links section, at the top of the Operator Manual.

    N.B. The survey can be mentioned on all appropriate calls including where we have and have not taken caller details. It can sometimes also be mentioned on more challenging calls, such as safeguarding cases (depending on the nature of the calls of course and whether it is deemed appropriate to do so).
                                                                                                         
  • 03/07/2023
    UPDATE: AskSARA

    Please utilise AskSARA for those needing access to mobility equipment and services. This can be found here, or by searching on the local council website under Health and Social Care. 

    N.B. Not every area has this service available to them and would need to be explored on the call with the SU. 
                                                                                                         

June Updates

  • 28/06/2023
    UPDATE: High Intensity Users

    Addition-
    To clarify, these 2 callers who have been added/re-added to AL, their numbers end in 077 & 089.

    As per the update in the Newsletter from 9th June, the particular female caller mentioned has been investigated and a ticket was raised to redirect her calls to additional line.

    It was also recently highlighted that a certain male high intensity user (who was previously added to the additional line) was somehow being connected to the main NSL line (P001).

    We can confirm that both their numbers have now been successfully added to the additional line (P025), effective immediately.

    When you are logged into the additional line, please continue providing psychosocial support; being a kind, compassionate, listening ear for our callers. Remember to use the scripts as appropriate and manage callers’ expectations and call times.

    Thank you for your patience and do continue to highlight any callers you feel may require investigation.
  • 26/06/2023
    UPDATE: BRC Scotland Mobility aids

    Following a successful advocacy campaign by British Red Cross, in 2021 the Scottish Government took the decision that they would provide short-term loan wheelchairs through local Health and Social Care Partnerships (HSCP). Due to this Scotlands mobility aids team will be closing down. No wheelchairs can be hired after the 30th of June. Please see the here for an FAQ provided to us by Scotland mobility aids.
  • 21/06/2023
    GENTLE REMINDER:

    When taking a callers details, please remember to ask if they have called us before, and check phone number & postcode in Dynamics to avoid creating duplicate contacts and keeps the callers cases in one place.

    NB If they have called before, please ensure to verify at least 3 pieces of information such as name, 1st line of address & postcode.                                                                                                 
  • 20/06/2023
    UPDATE: URGENT SAT Phone Line Update:

    The Safeguarding Advice Line will not be operational on Tuesday, 20th June and Tuesday, 27th June, whilst the team undergoes important training.  As the voicemail will state, if there is an urgent matter where an individual is at immediate risk of harm, please contact emergency services at 999.  The lines will re-open the following morning at 9am.                                                                                                                
  • 16/06/2023 PM
    UPDATE: International Family Tracing (IFT)

    The IFT page on the main BRC website is currently being updated. If you receive any calls regarding the shipwreck off Pylos, Greece, please refer to the tracing page, and signpost to the relevant IFT team using the postcode tracker. If the SU cannot make contact themselves, please take the caller’s name, number, and location, and an NSL coordinator (OST) will forward their details to the local IFT team on their behalf.

    Please ensure to add the keyword ‘PYLOS’ in the case notes for reporting purposes.

    Thank you.                                                                                                                        
  • 16/06/2023
    UPDATE: London RS

    London RS are open again until the end of June but will be closed all of July (1st-31st). This is due to the capacity and caseload of the Team. Please utilise the additional signposts that can be found on the Refugee Services Page.
                                                                                                                               
  • 07/06/2023
    UPDATE: Heatwave
                                                                                                                               
    In light of the predicted heatwave, this is a reminder should you receive any calls relating to this, that there is information available on BRC main website such as; first aid and/or safety advice on heatwaves & heatstroke, wildfires & draughts. The info is also available in different languages.

    The direct link of where to find the info is added to SLOM under the briefing updates page, or you may also click BRC main website >‘get help’> ‘prepare for emergencies’> ‘advice on heatwaves’. Alongside useful links to first aid, wildfires & draughts.

    Please ensure to add the keyword ‘HEAT’ to the top of your case notes to help support our team with data capture.
  • 05/06/2023
    UPDATE: Caller Automated Feedback Survey

    Gentle Reminder –
    Please encourage as many callers as possible to stay on the line and complete the automated survey feedback, there are 3 questions, and the survey will take up to 2 minutes. We have created a script as guidance to help with mentioning in your calls, which you can find on SLOM under scripts section on SLOM and is titled ‘Caller Feedback Script‘.

May Updates

  • 25/05/2023
    UPDATE: Door to Door Fundraising

    Please be aware the British Red Cross is once again doing door to door collections, as well as collections in local High Streets, supermarkets etc.

    If you receive calls from concerned SU’s about a BRC fundraising volunteer, please let them know that BRC volunteers will give their name, ID and will be wearing a BRC Lanyard. If a SU has any concerns to the legitimacy of the BRC volunteer, please signpost them to 0300 456 1155 Option 3 (SupporterCare), where the ID will be verified, and the SU informed if they are member of the BRC or not. The SU can also call the same number if they have any complaints about the above service.

  • 23/05/2023
    UPDATE: Safeguarding

    It has been highlighted that there has been a slight confusion regarding the Safeguarding process to be followed. I would like to confirm that there is no change in the process, and it remains the same as added on to SLOM. 

    If a case has been identified as Urgent/immediate risk to life, the call handler will call 999 immediately and once you have spoken with 999, you should inform the supervisor about it and call SAT. For non-urgent cases or cases where you are confused, let your supervisor know that you are going to reach out to SAT for a case, so that they know the reason of your unavailability from the line. In case, you are not able to reach out to the supervisor on call please send a team’s message to keep them informed. Once you have spoken with SAT, please update the case notes on Dynamics. Please read the Safeguarding process for more details on Operator Manual. 

    UPDATE: National Zakat Foundation (NZF)

    Due to a soar in applications for support the National Zakat Foundation (NZF) don’t currently have capacity to service, and are placing a limit on the number of applications that can be submitted per month. As such, if you receive feedback from a caller that they tried to submit an application but were unable to do so, NZF have asked that our operators’ use the following wording: “Muslims across the UK are asking for help. National Zakat Foundation is working hard to help as many people as possible. The waiting list will open again at the start of next month. Check back with NZF next month.” Please unsure you note this signposting in your case summary with ‘Signposted to NZF’.
  • 18/05/2023
    UPDATE: Food support reminder 
    When a food request has been identified, please ensure not to create a ‘Local Food Referral.’ It was a requirement in the past with the previous food support system, but it has now changed, please avoid filling in the referrals box.
  • 15/05/2023
    UPDATE: BANKABLE CARDS
    If any SUs call to say they are having issues activating their bankable card that was issued to them from BRC.  Please direct the SU to the telephone number and reference number they have been provided with, this should either be on the back of their card or in the accompanying letter.

    If the SU has either already tried the number and has been redirected back to NSL, or there are no details on the card or accompanying letter, please obtain the SU’s consent and take their full details in Dynamics.  Please also ask the SU to take a screenshot of the letter and back of their card and email this to supportline@redcross.org.uk.
  • 05/05/2023
    UPDATE: SUDAN
    The latest update on Sudan is on the SLOM under the banner ‘Sudan’. The summary is that the way we support has changed and we will now be treating each call case by case, like we currently do with all other calls, and use the food support as guidance and eligibilIty. All avenues must have been exhausted so please continue to signpost as usual and only complete the emergency support form if they meet the criteria.
    Please see the ‘Sudan’ page on SLOM for the full update and some signpost support and the BRC weblink regarding Sudan support.
  • 03/05/2023
    UPDATE: SUDAN
    There is a new information centre, approximately 3 miles from the Airport, for people arriving from Sudan into Stanstead. If you receive any calls regarding anyone arriving in Stanstead and needing support, please signpost to the main terminal where they will see a welcome hub, and can get transport to the information centre.

    The information centre is being managed by local community reserve volunteers, and they will be able to give details of available support from local councils and other services.  
  • 02/05/2023
    NEW: Colleagues in the Sudanese Red Crescent and ICRC continue to provide support on the ground. We cannot open tracing enquiries as of now, please keep checking the website for any changes, the current advice is to keep trying as internet and comms are intermittent. If people want advice about bringing family over through refugee family reunion, they can call the FR team on Family Reunion Enquiries Service call or WhatsApp 07834 496 781 (Mon – Fri 9am – 5pm) Email – FRAdvice@Redcross.org.uk

    UPDATE: Mobility Aids will appear as the 3rd option on the line effective 12 noon today.

    NEW: We have observed recently that we have an abusive caller on the line, please ensure you are using the Abusive Caller Script where appropriate. If you receive a call of this nature, please notify the supervisor as soon possible. Please avoid waiting until the end of the day and only sharing it during the debriefing.
                                                                                                                                                   

April Updates

  • 28/04/2023
    UPDATE: SUDAN                                                                                                                            

    The BRC International Family Tracing pages have been updated with information for people looking to trace family in Sudan. This page provides details for signposting and a link to the FCDO Sudan webpage. Please check both the International Family Tracing pages and the FCDO Sudan pages regularly for future updates. Please see Find missing Family Page.                                

    Please also ensure all case notes relating to Sudan are marked with the keyword ‘SUDAN’ at the beginning of the summary notes. 
  • 25/05/2023
    NEW: Further to recent information shared in relation to the new & upcoming interactive voice response option being added to the NSL for ‘Mobility aids’, please note that this is not yet live. Further information will be shared around this in due course.

    UPDATE : We now have confirmation that the new option for callers to be put straight through to mobility aids will go live at midday on Tuesday 2nd May.                                                                                                                                        -Option 1: Ukraine Line
    -Option 2: NSL
    NEW – Option 3: Mobility aids 
  • 24/04/2023
    UPDATE: The pages on the Streamlined asylum process are live on the website – these include links to some template letters that individuals can self edit for submission to the home office.
  • 21/04/2023
    UPDATE: Food support reminder
    When identifying a need for food support – please ensure you manage expectations and confirm with the caller that they have relevant photo id as guidelines at the end of the food support request form. This will help minimise ineligible requests being put through and help with managing expectations of the caller or person/s in need of support.

    Please also be aware that we are streamlining the call back process for food support by mirroring how we approach outbound calls. This will mean we will attempt up to 2 calls with a reasonable gap between, so be sure to inform them of this and check with the caller the best time for us to make contact. Include these details of the call in your summary notes.

    NB- Any differences from the above will be added to the food support process & re-added to SLOM next week.

March Updates

  • 22/03/2023
    Update: The refugee support page has been updated with an FAQ document provided by our refugee liaison team member

16/03/2023
Update: The BRC Community Education team have rolled out a new support offer along with a Wellbeing Pack called the Self-Kindness Toolkit.

  • A new related organisation “Community Education – Wellbeing Pack” has been added to Dynamics under the British Red Cross signpost. This will allow us to capture data on the number of calls received, where operators have signposted people to the pack.
  • Information about this offer has been added to the quick links in SLOM
  • Signposting is added to SLOM under Red Cross > Community Education – Wellbeing Pack
  • We request that operators ask callers to kindly share any feedback they may have after accessing the toolkits, by using the QR code found in the pack.

NB If operators handle any calls where SU experienced issues downloading the pack, please take the callers email address and the staff team will email this out to them instead. Please ensure consent is gained by using the consent statement in scripts on SLOM.

  • 03/03/2023
    Update: The new food referral process has been added to the bottom of the local referral page. This process will go live on March the 6th, until then please make food referral as you would normally. Please read the process if you have time, before March the 6th.
  • 06/03/2023
    Update: Local referral page has now been updated to reflect the new NSL food process, please check the process and raise any questions with your assigned coordinator or supervisor to be passed on to the Operational Support Team

February Updates

  • 28/02/2023
    Update: Please be advised the Home Office is sending out an Asylum Questionnaire as part of the ‘Streamlined Asylum Process’ plan. If a refugee calls asking about it, There is a 20 day deadline to return the form. Please be aware that “all callers should be advised that a solicitor should fill the questionnaire. If they cannot find a solicitor – please refer them to the local RS service.
  • 20/02/2023
    Update: following on from the update on the 17th, IFT’s text message can be seen here. Please inform SU’s who have messages that read as provided that it is indeed from the BRC and is authentic
  • 20/02/2023
    Update: Turkey/Syria Earthquake page added with information on the ongoing situation and links to support operators during calls
  • 17/02/2023
    Update: International Family Tracing (IFT) are preparing to send out a mass text next week to over 700 service users who originally gave permission for their photo to be uploaded to the Trace the Face Public Website prior to 2022.While we are not expecting an increase to our calls at NSL in relation to the text message, we may still receive some calls asking us to confirm legitimacy. If you answer any calls of this nature, please inform the SU that the messages are indeed authentic. The full SMS being sent out will be added to SLOM by Monday next week for your reference
  • 15/02/2023
    Update: Following a consultation the change to the food process is postponed for now. Please keeping making food referrals as normal, we will inform all when we have a more concrete date for the process to change.
  • 15/02/2023
    Update: COL affects anyone who is facing challenges with managing financially due to the current cost of living, regardless of their status. Therefore, we ask that it is recorded as such in Dynamics. Therefore please tick the cost of living slide in dynamics even if the SU is a refugee.
  • 14/02/2023
    Update: Please be aware IFT is only taking tracing referrals for Turkey as the moment, please see the IFT page here for details regarding Turkey and Syria. IFT requests those looking for family in Syria contact the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office on 0207 008 5000
  • 14/02/2023
    Update: As of the 14th February, we now have a toggle for ‘Cost of Living’ (COL). To help us accurately record this data, we ask that you now click the toggle button to ‘yes’, when handling calls relating to the cost-of-living crisis, and include further details in the summary notes on how it is a COL call, such as:

    – Caller specifically mentioning their call relates to cost of living.
    – Callers reason for contacting us relates to something that could be categorised under cost of living such as financial support around household/utility bills, inflation costs, struggling to cope etc

    You can find the toggle on the ‘support’ section of the case page
    If the call does not relate to CoL, please leave it unselected, as ‘no’.
  • 10/02/2023
    Update: Turkey/Syria Earthquake: The situation is still developing so more information is to come. For now please see the Red Cross’s Disaster Emergency Appeal (DEC) here and the International Family Tracing teams update here. Please be aware IFT is asking that first point of contact be the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office on 0207 008 5000 or a local Embassy if the caller isn’t looking for a British National.
  • 03/02/2023
    Update: Quality Assurance documents have been added to the Operator manual, they can be found in the Operator Section, Operator Training and Advice or in New Starters section, the page can also be gotten to directly here
  • 03/02/2023
    Update: The process for emergency food support is now coming away from the area teams responsibility, and is coming over to NSL. There are some minor changes, we will be adding the flowchart process to SLOM on Friday 03/02, and the current referral page will be edited ready for launch on 13/02/23.

    We shared in last weeks newsletters that we will be joining you in the supervisor meeting and Tuesday evening drop in session. We will briefly go over the process and showcase the form, there will also be an opportunity to ask any questions you may have. The session will be recorded and uploaded in the operator section of the operator manual for anyone who is unable to attend, and for those wishing to watch on replay.

January Updates

  • 23/01/2023
    Update: we are re-launching Quality Assurance (QA) to all operators on the national support line effective February 2023, for more details on Quality Assurance, we would like to invite you to attend workshops that are planned on the 26th and 27th January to take you through the Quality Assurance guidance and answer any questions you might have. The session planned on the 26th will be a morning workshop starting at 10:00AM till 11:30AM and the following session on the 27th will be an afternoon workshop starting at 2:00PM till 3:30PM. Please join us for which ever session works best for you, In case you are not able to join us on the given dates we will look to run some more workshops in the next week. The meeting links can be found here.

    Please drop an email to the SupportLine@redcross.org.uk with your interest and which session you plan to attend.
  • 18/01/2023
    Update: Post Shift Operator Feedback form added to the in the Operator section of the manual

    Share your experience on the shift

    Let us know if you would like assistance or further support to enable you to feel more confident on your future shifts

    Let us know if you would like support from your named co-ordinator

    Let us know if you would like any further training on any of the support tools and/or systems.

    Please do make the most of this opportunity and complete the form, so that we can support you where you require. 
  • 17/01/2023
    Update: North Area is now only a yes for food in very urgent cases. North note their response time is better measured in days than hours so manage expectations heavily, we cannot and do not promise support within 24hrs
  • 03/01/2023
    Update: Polite Reminder – Please ensure that the line reference that corresponds with a Voicemail call back is, is noted in the opening of the Dynamics notes i.e. “VM XXXX”. This makes it easier for supervisors to locate the relevant case relating to the call back that has been allocated to you.

December Updates

  • 21/12/2022
    Update – All refugee services have now had their Christmas closure dates added to the operator manual on the refugee services page, please check the dates the services are closed and manage expectations regarding RS.
  • 19/12/2022
    Update – The following RS’s are closed from 19th (today) until the 5th of January: Glasgow, London, Leicester, West midlands (Birmingham, Coventry, Stoke). This has been updated on the Refugee Section.
    NEW – The BRC is doing Snowman calendars for callers who have children across either or both of the two age brackets (5-7) (7-11), would greatly benefit from this resource, have access to the internet and a printer, they can be found here and a guide for helping callers find the calendars can be found here. SU’s can be advised to search Snowman on the BRC website and click the result called “The Snowman and The Snowdog kindness calendars” and the can download printable versions.
  • 08/12/2022
    Update – We can accept SIM requests as a one off only, for non-Ukrainian callers, in certain circumstances. Please initially explore all other options with the caller in the first instance. If you are unable to assist with a solution, please use the Ukraine line options and they should be able to help. Please be aware that this is not an offer and not widely advertised but simply a one off in certain circumstances.

November Updates

  • 15/11/2022
    Polite Reminder – Referral Source: A quick reminder to please add the referral source on Dynamics for all the callers to help us track calls coming to NSL from different sources. This will help us monitor trends like increased calls from Migrant Help, GP, etc. We have quite a few options in the drop down list on Dynamics i.e. Migrant Help, Citizens Advice, Email, Facebook, etc. please select the relevant option and close the case as normal by clicking on ready for review.
  • 15/11/2022
    Update – Additional Line: As you are aware, we introduced the additional line as a way to ensure our repeat and high
    intensity callers still have an opportunity to contact us and to help us manage their calls by
    reaching the same person if they are calling the line multiple times during the day.

    Going forwards, we will have a maximum of 2 operators joining the additional line. This should be agreed with the supervisor during the briefing meeting, anyone else on the additional line should log off this line to ensure you are only receiving calls on NSL P00. The call handlers logging in on the additional line should be logged in on both P001 & P025. If it has been agreed that you will join the additional line when on a partial shift, please remind the supervisor of your hours in the briefing meeting and arrange who will take over when you are due to log off.
  • 11/11/2022
    Update:Age Dispute
    From now, operators should signpost callers who say they are in Home Office accommodation and are under 18-years-old directly to the Refugee Service (RS) centre nearest their location.

    This means that there should be no need to obtain their consent and details unless:
    • there is an urgent Safeguarding concern
    • or if caller says they have no credit on their phone, have no access to internet or gives another valid reason. In this instance, you can obtain their consent and details and request that NSL staff email their information to RS.

      Thank you all for your dedication and support during this latest influx of Age Dispute cases
  • 02/11/2022
    Update: Age Dispute

From now the Safeguarding Assurance Team does not need to be contacted about callers who say they are in Home Office accommodation and are under 18-years-old.

However, if there is an immediate risk to life, please follow Safeguarding procedure for urgent cases and call 999 if necessary. Remember to call the Safeguarding team after any call to emergency services.

If you receive a call from a person saying they are a child in Home Office accommodation, and there is no urgent safeguarding concern, please obtain consent and the following details. (Also available in the Age Dispute page)

  • First and last name (accuracy important)
  • Country of origin
  • Date of birth
  • Date of birth recorded by the Home Office (if known)
  • Date arrived in the UK
  • Complete address, including Hotel Name, Address and Room No.
  • Telephone number
  • Language spoken
  • Home Office/Port Reference number (if known)

You should inform the caller that their details will be sent to the child social services team in their local area and the Home Office Safeguarding Hub.

Remember to add “Age Dispute” at the top of your summary notes.

October Updates

  • 21/10/2022
    Update: To capture the Cost of Living can all operators who receive a Cost of Living base call please mark the start of the case with “CoL”. Operators can note in the case what the specific issue is, be that rent, energy bills, food costs or fuel, but please mark all cases relating to the cost of living with “CoL” first.

    Update: To capture the volume of age dispute cases, can all operators please mark the start of the case notes with “Age Dispute Cases”
  • 19/10/2022
    Update: London Refugee Services is now open and taking new cases. Operators can signpost to this service centre, or request that NSL team put through a referral for callers if needed.
    • Please be aware of these notes in the Refugee Services banner page for London:  
    • Please verify that the caller is in the geographical area remit for London 
    • Please be aware that Refugee services only supports persons who are currently in the asylum system. If a caller has leave to remain, they can be signposted to their local Citizens Advice and other appropriate organisations. The only exception is Family Reunion Travel Assistance for which callers need to have status.  
    • Be careful to manage expectations for London RS as they face high levels of calls and emails. Their response time can be up to 5 working days. 
    • London RS is not able to pick up all calls and therefore callers should leave a voice message with name, phone number and language needed.  
    • London RS is not able to provide clothing – alternative signposts are given in the table provided.

September Updates

  • 29/09/2022
    Update: We have updated the information in the Safeguarding banner. Please carefully read and be aware of these clarifications.

    Change in voicemail procedure: A member of the SAT team will now use Teams to contact operators who have left a voicemail. When leaving voicemails, it is important that you clearly identify your first and last names. Also inform when your shift is ending and the case number.

    Polite reminder: Please wait for instructions from either the shift supervisor or NSL support team before proceeding with any Safeguarding advice, including callbacks.
  • 02/09/2022
    Update: The Ukraine CBA application Microsoft Form is being retired. Callers now need to ring the Support Line and choose the Ukraine>cash/SIM option.  A live operator will provide them with a link and password to an online form that they can use to submit their application details directly. Callers must complete the application the day the same day as the password changes every day.
  • 01/09/2022
    Update: NSL only requires 2 operators logged into the Additional Line (P025) at any time. This will be agreed between the Supervisor and operators in the briefing before each shift We hope this helps manage high intensity users and other callers that come through on this line. Please provide any insights or feedback regarding Additional Line to the shift supervisors

August Updates

  • 24/08/2022
    Polite Reminder: Please add ‘UKR HPH’ as a key word and at the top of your case notes for any calls received from Ukrainians whose housing placements have broken down and have therefore become homeless. This helps NSL in capturing data on these call types.
  • 23/08/2022
    Barnardo’s Ukraine Response
    Barnardo’s Ukraine Response have access to a limited supply of mobile phones with UK sims for Ukraine refugees. If a caller needs a mobile phone to access support, please offer Barnardo’s as an additional signpost (see Signposting section – 0800 148 8586/ukrainiansupport@barnardos.org.uk).
  • 17/08/2022
    New safeguarding interim process

    Effective August 17th, NSL has implemented an interim process to bridge the gap between Ataa leaving and changes that are coming to the line in September. Operators are still expected to follow the same process in terms of identifying a safeguarding concern and how to contact SAT. Please note the change as follows:
    • If Safeguarding Team has been contacted, the operator should complete the case notes as required in Dynamics, with all relevant information.
    • New – Complete the safeguarding form. The link is also located under the Safeguarding on the Operator Manual banner. This form should be used for both urgent and non-urgent cases.
    • Safeguarding coordinators will take the appropriate follow-up actions.
    • Please read all the updated information in the Safeguarding banner.
  • 12/08/2022
    NEW – Effective tomorrow, Saturday August 13th, due to Ataa’s secondment ending as NSL SAT Advisor, Ataa should not be called for any safeguarding cases, please reach out to SAT for advice and ensure case notes are updated. We will soon be implementing an interim safeguarding process to ensure cases are still being managed effectively. Details to follow in the coming days.
  • 10/08/2022
    Update – In light of the current warmer weather we currently are, and going to continue experiencing, we are looking to capture some data on calls specifically relating to this. In order to support us in capturing this data, we ask the following:
    • Please add ‘HEATWAVE 2’ as a key word and at the top of your case notes for any calls received relating to the heatwave we are experiencing and possibly concerns regarding dealing with the heat.
    • By adding the key word at the top of your notes will help us to easily identify the case. Thank you in advance.
    • Coping with a heatwave guidance is in the signposting section or can be accessed here
  • 09/08/2022
    Update – London Gas Explosion
    A major gas explosion led to the collapse of a house and damage to others in south London information is provided in the gas explosion section of the operator manual referral section detailing the address of the local rest centre where the council and BRC volunteers are supporting residents

July updates

  • 04/08/2022 AM
    UPDATE – SLOM safeguarding update:
    Both the safeguarding page and safeguarding processes pages on the SLOM are now password protected. Please use your Operator section password to gain access.
  • 21/07/2022 PM
    ***UPDATE – When the caller phones the line and select NSL, once the general greeting has played they are informed of the anonymous survey and that they can stay on the line at the end of the call.***

    We have now introduced an option for callers to leave feedback via an automated survey. If the caller stays on the line at the end of the call they will have the option to answer a few simple questions about their experience of the call they’ve had, including the extent to which we’ve helped meet their needs and how helpful the call operator has been.

    If operators could please ask callers at the end of the call “If you would like to give feedback on the call today, please stay on the line, this will take no longer than 2 minutes. Otherwise please feel free to hang up”.

    NB – This feedback is NOT associated to an individual operator.
  • 20/07/2022
    London Fires Update

    Recently there has been a number of house fires in the Havering and Dagenham areas. Some properties are completely destroyed, some uninhabitable, others damaged or can’t go back to yet. Our Crisis Response team have volunteers onsite, capacity dependant, supporting residents and providing emotional support. Many of the Havering residents affected have been put up in hotels and a rest centre has been set up. Dagenham has a Community Assistance Centre set up, both addresses to be added are in the local referral page under London Fires.

    Residents are being signposted to NSL for one off emotional and/or practical support. There is a BRC Fire Support Pack in the Operator Manual (Local referral page in the London Fires) with relevant signposting that can help those affected and some additional signposts available which will be added to this update on the SLOM. In order for us to capture specific data on these call types, please add ‘LONDON FIRES’ as a key word and at the top of your case notes for any calls received relating to the London Fires.

    Click here to open BRC Fire Support Pack (signposting information for most queries at the end of the guide)
  • 20/07/2022
    BRC Door to Door collection


    Please be aware the British Red Cross is once again doing door to door collection, BRC volunteers will give their name and ID and will be wearing a BRC Lanyard. If a SU has any concerns to the legitimacy of the BRC volunteer please signpost them to 0300 456 1155 (SupporterCare) where the ID will be verified and the SU informed if they are members of the BRC or not. The website with all the information and the Phone number will be added to the signposting guide
  • 18/07/2022
    Polite reminder

    The opening hours for the Ukraine Escalation line (159) are Monday-Friday 10:00-17:00.  
  • 15/07/2022
    Automated feedback survey

    We have now introduced an option for callers to leave feedback via an automated survey. If the caller stays on the line at the end of the call they will have the option to answer a few simple questions about their experience of the call they’ve had, including the extent to which we’ve helped meet their needs and how helpful the call operator has been.

    If operators could please ask callers at the end of the call “If you would like to give feedback on the call today, please stay on the line, this will take no longer than 2 minutes. Otherwise please feel free to hang up”.

    NB – This feedback is NOT associated to an individual operator
  • 14/07/2022
    Potential high intensity repeat caller

    We have received reports of calls from a male SU who uses language such as ECT, psychological manipulation and talks about his own experiences relating to this as well as poor health as a result. We have also been advised that he can at times use inappropriate language as well as be quite coercive in getting operators to agree with his opinions surrounding such treatments. Please be reminded of the scripts available within the operator manual in relation to dealing with Inappropriate and or/abusive callers & Guidance for Dynamics as well as the HIU Process.
  • 12/07/2022
    Case notes update

    We are looking to capture some additional data than usual on specific types of calls we are receiving on the line. In order to support with this, we ask the following:

    Please add ‘HEATWAVE’ as a key word and at the top of your case notes for any calls received relating to the heatwave we are experiencing and possibly concerns regarding dealing with the heat.

    Please add ‘UKR HPH’ as a key word and at the top of your case notes for any calls received from Ukrainians whose housing placements have broken down and have therefore become homeless.

    By adding the key word at the top of your notes will help us to easily identify the case. Thank you in advance.
  • 7/07/2022
    Update on referrals to the North area

    The North area cell is facing low capacity and limited resources for dealing with referrals. They have stopped medication pick ups and are only handling food referrals at the present time. However, they are unlikely to pick up food referrals on same day. Operators should manage expectations and continue to signpost to Trussell Trust, Salvation Army, local authorities, local surgery and GP and friends and family.
  • 6/07/2022
    Safeguarding update

    Gentle reminder: Safeguarding normal hours are Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm.
    The team can be reached 24/7 but please only call out of hours if there is an emergency that cannot wait until the next working day.

    Note that SAT officers working out of hours are on call and not expected to be at their desk doing case work. They can only give advice. They may also provide instructions of follow up actions needed. Any advice or instructions should be noted accurately in the summary notes and the appropriate supervisor/operator should take action as soon as possible.
    NSL cases are only reviewed during normal hours by Ataa.
  • 5/07/2022
    Bedford gas explosion

    FYI – A major gas explosion at a block of flats in Bedford has led to two people being taken to hospital with serious injuries, and hundreds from the affected block of flats and adjoining buildings being evacuated. A rest centre has been opened nearby for evacuees.
    This information is just a heads up that this has happened in case anyone does call, we haven’t been asked to provide a specific response, but local teams may signpost to us for psychosocial support.

June updates

  • 29/06/2022
    Safeguarding cases

    Reminder that operators should not be sending Ataa emails regarding cases. The process has not changed. These emails are sent by the Operational Support Team members only. Please make it clear in the notes when the case should be emailed to Ataa.
  • 23/06/2022
    Earthquake in Afghanistan

    When receiving calls regarding the recent earthquake in Afghanistan please ensure you add ‘Afghanistan earthquake’ in your notes. This will allow us to understand how many queries we’re receiving and to prepare appropriate guidance. We’re in touch with International team on further guidance/ information.
  • 17/06/2022
    CBA and SIM requests follow up calls

    The process for CBA and SIM requests follow up calls has been updated, i.e. if the caller query is about the request they placed 10 days ago (or longer) and still haven’t heard back, please fill out the MS form (available in Ukraine Updates page). The form will be picked up by the CBA team and they will get back to the caller to inform them on the progress of the application.

    This means we no longer transfer these calls to P159 to follow up the application progress. The process in the SLOM has been updated.
  • 9/06/2022
    CBA cards activation

    The card ops team which are responsible for activating CBA cash cards has let us know that their phone line 03003321425 is currently inundated with a high volume of calls from people having issues with their card activations, this is causing long waiting times and delays in getting responses.

    The main issue is that people are trying to activate their CBA cards using a different phone number to what was used on their CBA application. Callers experiencing this issue can be transferred to P159/7159 Ukraine Line where we will be able to check their application and let them know which phone number is used on the CBA application.

May updates

  • 31/05/2022
    Reminder for operators from the area cells:
    When requesting referral to local area, please make sure to include in the notes all signposts suggested to the Service User. This will help with understanding what help they already tried to get and will prevent area repeating the same information when speaking to SUs.
  • 25/05/2022
    International Family Tracing (IFT)

    We reached out to our colleagues from IFT for clarification on the process of signposting to the service. Currently, on their website the message on cyber attack is still displayed. However, if the query is related to Ukraine you can either contact the National Team via this email: findyour_family@redcross.org.uk OR go to the BRC website IFT page which has information on the current situation. Email is also found on there.

    Reporting war crimes

    The message below comes from the Met Police regarding any callers who would want to report war crimes.
    People are invited to make contact us via the below link on our website which is available in Ukrainian and Russian.

    https://www.met.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/war-crimes/af/report-a-war-crime/

    We are particularly interested to hear from people who have been a victim or witness to a war crime, those who have digital media (the portal has a function to upload) and anyone with information which they think may be useful.

    Update (27/05/2022): If there is an issue with giving out the above website please direct the caller to 101 to report war crimes over the phone or if unable to do this they can visit their local police station.
  • 25/05/2022
    International Family Tracing (IFT)

    We reached out to our colleagues from IFT for clarification on the process of signposting to the service. Currently, on their website the message on cyber attack is still displayed. However, if the query is related to Ukraine you can either contact the National Team via this email: findyour_family@redcross.org.uk OR go to the BRC website IFT page which has information on the current situation. Email is also found on there.

    Reporting war crimes

    The message below comes from the Met Police regarding any callers who would want to report war crimes.
    People are invited to make contact us via the below link on our website which is available in Ukrainian and Russian.

    https://www.met.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/war-crimes/af/report-a-war-crime/

    We are particularly interested to hear from people who have been a victim or witness to a war crime, those who have digital media (the portal has a function to upload) and anyone with information which they think may be useful.

    Update (27/05/2022): If there is an issue with giving out the above website please direct the caller to 101 to report war crimes over the phone or if unable to do this they can visit their local police station.
  • 21/05/2022
    Update Re London Tactical Cell

    London will be picking up referrals coming through from now on, as before, please do not send referrals in for transport or medication pick-up, but where there is a very urgent need for food that could not be solved through signposting to foodbanks etc they can be processed. Cases will be picked up on weekends as well, however, there will be no out of hours support available M-F.
  • 20/05/2022
    Transferring CBA/SIM calls

    Any CBA/SIM calls where you are just transferring them to the Ukraine line (7148) and no other support is offered (I.e. signposting/ Psychosocial support), you no longer need to create a case in Dynamics.
  • 19/05/2022
    Safeguarding: 999 calls

    As per the safeguarding process, call 999 in a medical or mental health emergency. This is when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk. NHS 111 can help if you need urgent medical help or you’re not sure what to do.

    If there are any other situations you feel may need a 999 call please ensure you always call SAT first. None of the NSL staff or volunteers are expected (or should be) making decisions regarding safeguarding actions.
  • 16/05/2022
    SIM card applications – address

    When filling out the application for SIM Cards, please ensure that the address details are in correct fields. We came across the applications when all info has been copied in to each cell (number, first line of address, postcode). This causes additional admin work and delays processing the applications.

    Please add service user’s address as on the picture below:
  • 13/05/2022
    NHS Volunteer Responders Ceasing Operations

    The NHS Volunteer Responders service is ending today and has been removed from the signposting guide. We have added the Community Transport Association as a possible alternative signpost. This is a site with contact details for local transport options around the UK.
  • 12/05/2022
    Existing SIM/Cash Based Assistance Applications

    Please remind Operators that they should not signpost callers to BRCs Supporter Care team with enquiries about existing SIM/Cash Based Assistance applications. It seems the supporter care email address may have been given out for this, but, they are unable to follow up with existing applications.

    The callers’ expectations should be managed by informing them that as we are currently experiencing a high volume of requests, there may be some delay in processing applications.

April updates

  • 30/04/2022
    Outsourced Ukraine Support Line
    The outsourced Ukraine line is now live. When caller phones the NSL Mon – Fri they will be prompted to press 3 for Ukraine line, then prompted to press 1 for requests for cash or Sims and 2 for all other Ukraine queries.

    At weekend they will still press 3 for Ukraine then 1 for Cash/Sims and all other enquiries will route back to NSL.

    If calls for SIMs/Cash go to NSL they can let the caller know there is a dedicated team looking after that and transfer the call to the Ukraine line – 7148 or search for ‘Ukraine Support’.
  • 29/04/2022
    SIM card application forms

    When completing Microsoft forms for SIM card requests, please ensure that you are using the link currently in the operator manual and not any that you may previously have bookmarked. Some operators have been using an outdated form. Thank you.
  • 27/04/2022
    Postcode field in Dynamics

    The postcode field in Dynamics has been updated and is live as of today. From now on, the operators need to type the first half of the postcode (including digit/s) to look up territory, e.g. NE1 (For Newcastle). If caller is anonymous and shared the area only, the operator should apply any postcode for this area, e.g. if they said they are in Glasgow it could be G1. For callers who do not provide any location information, we can still enter “UK” for postcode lookup.
  • 24/04/2022
    Cash-based assistance eligibility and duplicate applications

    Gentle reminder: Applicants for cash-based assistance need to apply within 14 days of entering the UK. Can operators please check that service users meet this requirement when speaking to these service users.

    We are also seeing some duplicate applications for cash-based assistance, possibly because the backlog of cases has led service users to believe that their application hasn’t been processed. Can operators please check that service users have not already made an application when taking these calls. Thank you.
  • 20/04/2022
    Cash-based assistance data collection

    Please could operators ensure that they are collecting the information for the person requiring support when completing the Cash Based Assistance forms. If the caller is the sponsor, we don’t need their details but the Ukrainian Refugees they are calling on behalf of.
  • 20/04/2022
    Backlog on cash-based assistance payments
    Please could operators inform callers applying for Cash Based Assistance that we currently have a backlog so there may be a delay in processing the payments. We are working to clear this backlog this week.
  • 19/04/2022
    Ataa not working today

    Ataa from the safeguarding team will be off work today. Please contact SAT with any urgent cases which cannot wait until the following day.
  • 16/04/2022
    Calls from other services who receive NSL or Ukraine related calls
    There have been many reports from other BRC services that they receive ‘our’ calls (NSL or Ukraine related), while the caller believes they chose our number.

    The automated messaging of the main BRC UK Office number offers redirection to different parts of the organisation. Some of the callers might not be sure which option will redirect them to NSL or Ukraine line, so they might choose a random digit, or the one they think is most relevant. This could be the case especially with callers who speak very little English.

    When receiving the calls from other services regarding this issue, please advise them to transfer calls to NSL number (if they have this functionality) or to give callers our free phone number 0808 196 3651 which will direct them to NSL.
  • 14/04/2022
    Signposts added to Dynamics
    As we are now involved in the Cash Based Assistance Scheme (CBA) & the sim card offer, we have now added these to Dynamics as a quick and easier way to identify these call types.

    You will need to select the 3 dots under Local Signposts > New Local Signpost > Signpost > British Red Cross > Signpost Category, > and then either, Cash Based Assistance Scheme (CBA) / OR – Sim Card Offer – Tesco / OR – Sim Card Offer – Vodafone (example picture below).

    This update will be added to SLOM asap along with screen shots as a visual of where to select.
  • 13/04/2022
    Vodafone and Tesco SIM offer
    There is a scheme for ANYONE who is digitally excluded, to receive a free SIM from Vodaphone (or Tesco’s if fleeing from Ukraine). The process is that the Operator will complete a simple MS Form which will go to the Cash Based Assistance team and who will post the SIMs. NSL operators will still create an anonymous case and mark in the notes “SIM request”.

    Below is the link to the form which contains step by step guidance. Please fill out this form
    https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=ujzc_l7KiEOoN7Rcfw1xt7yuyhmlkD5KgRjogZMHQhJUN01CVk0xTVA1TjFUNjBGSUI4TlM0MU5NUS4u
    This information and the link are in the SLOM: Ukraine Updates page > Advice on Ukraine Queries > SIM card.
  • 12/04/2022
    Cash Based Assistance Information for operators

    From today onwards, we will now be taking part in the Cash Based Assistance Scheme for Ukrainians.

    The scheme is available for Ukrainians entering the UK via visa or sponsorship schemes or with permitted entry and a stamped passport from UK Border Force. We are asking Operators where required, to take details using Microsoft Form where you will also see a consent statement that must be read out. This form will automatically come through to our staff team who will contact the SU and provide details of what evidence they must provide for verification purposes before they may be granted the funds.

    All criteria, the form and the full process is available in SLOM (Ukraine Updates page > Advice on Ukraine queries > Cash Based Assistance).
    We are currently working on an FAQs document specifically relating to the Cash Based Assistance scheme and will update you all once this is completed and added to SLOM.

March updates

  • 26/03/3022 PM
    Update on Glasgow Strikes


    The Glasgow home care strikes on the 29th & 30th of March have been postponed. If there are any calls please reassure the caller that their home care service will be provided as normal next week.

    The next planned dates (20/21 April) for industrial action are remaining in place. Depending on the outcome of talks with the council these date may go ahead or be cancel. The HSPC & Glasgow City Council will keep service users aware of the outcome of these talks and if any action goes ahead there will be support put in place.If service users have quries please direct the to contact Glasgow City Council or the HSPC (please be aware at the moment the HSPC information is accessed online so if they would line a number please make a signpost to Glasgow City Council).
  • 26/03/3022 PM
    Industrial action by Glasgow Health and Social Care Workers


    The National Support Line is starting to receive calls regarding a planned industrial action by the Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership on March 28th and 29th. The British Red Cross in this area is preparing to offer support to Glasgow HSPC.

    If a caller is looking for general information regarding these services, please signpost to either HSPC (https://glasgowcity.hscp.scot/) or the Glasgow City Council (https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/). If a caller needs assistance with food or expresses other critical need, please take their consent and details. OST will forward these to the Red Cross Glasgow area cell who may be able to help them.

    Please do NOT make any local referrals for food or medication for these callers. Manage expectations. Updates may be forthcoming.
  • 24/03/3022 PM
    High Intensity Caller script


We are providing operators with a suggested script for dealing with High Intensity Users. The script is only there to be followed as a guide but we mainly want to convey these key messages:
Let them know…
– They’ve been identified as a Frequent Caller
– Why we are doing this (In order to make our services accessible to all callers with limited resources)
– What we are doing i.e. (we need to limit the frequency and duration of conversations with regular callers. We are still able to speak to you every day if needed, however this will be limited to one call each day of 30 minutes maximum.)

Suggested Script: Before we continue our conversation, I need to let you know that we’ve identified you as a regular caller. In order to make our services accessible to all callers, with limited resources, we need to limit the frequency and duration of conversations with regular callers. We are still able to speak to you every day if needed, however this will be limited to one call each day of 30 minutes maximum. (The script is available at the top of the page in sections ‘Scripts’).

This will be used as a script for all high intensity users, once we (in the staff management team) decide a management plan is required.

For this specific individual, depending on his response to our message, we will also remind him of other support services available to him, such as Samaritans and also advise him that if he feels in immediate danger, he can call 999, present himself at A&E or follow up with his care coordinator.

  • 22/03/2022 PM
    Repeat food support requests, Central area

    Please be aware that we have received calls from the Central area, possibly using different names, looking to obtain food vouchers despite already receiving food support – sometimes on multiple occasions. We kindly request that operators check names and phone numbers against existing records and advise that we are unable to provide further support to these service users.
  • 17/03/2022

Currently the Restoring Family Links team are started to make Data Breach notification calls to service users who have been impacted by the data breach. In the course of this, some service users are concerned that the callers are not genuine and from the British Red Cross.

If we receive a call of this nature, can you please ask operators to signpost SUs back to the webpage
http://www.redcross.org.uk/get-help/find-missing-family/faqs-for-family-tracing-users

or 0300 373 0192 number which they can return the calls on.

  • 16/03/2022

Gentle reminder: Safeguarding Cases
Please remember to take full contact details when creating safeguarding details. The safeguarding team needs this information in order to process cases. If a case requires Datix, please include the name of the safeguarding officer you speak to regarding the call.

  • 14/03/2022 PM

The Homes for Ukraine
The UK Government has revealed details of a new scheme to help Ukraine people fleeing the conflict. The Homes for Ukraine programme, to be rolled out this week, will allow individuals, charities, community groups and businesses to bring people escaping the war to safety – even if they have no ties to the UK.
Until full details are available we suggest accessing the following link where we anticipate information will be made available.
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/support-for-family-members-of-british-nationals-in-ukraine-and-ukrainian-nationals-in-ukraine-and-the-uk (the link is available in the Ukraine Updates page > Other links)

  • 14/03/2022 PM
    Gentle Reminder: Ukraine Signpost to UKO

    Please do not signpost any callers to UKO for any Ukraine-related queries. UKO are not able to provide support with advice on the Ukraine situation or individual cases and are not set up as a walk-in centre therefore do not have capacity to support. When dealing with calls on NSL, please be sure to signpost appropriately and according to the caller’s needs. Use the signpost section of SLOM for guidance on where best to signpost and use your on-shift supervisor as support via WhatsApp or call if needed.
  • 9/03/2022
    Callers offering accommodation for refugees


    We have received a number of calls from people looking to offer accommodation for refugees. In response, we have added two new organisations to the signposting guide: Rooms for Refugees and Refugees at Home. Please note that refugees cannot self-refer to these services, we should only use them for people looking to offer accommodation.

    We can also signpost these callers to their local council.
  • 9/03/2022
    New Ukraine queries line

    As mentioned in the Whatsapp group message and email, we have created a new line dedicated to calls relating to the situation in Ukraine. When a caller phones the NSL, they will hear 4 options:

    -Press 1 for donations (this will direct them to Support Care)
    – If your enquiry relates to the Ukraine emergency, unfortunately we are not in a position to transport clothing, blankets and other aid items. Please visit our website at www.redcross.org.uk to find out how you can support our Ukrainian appeal.
    – Or if you would like to speak to someone regarding the Ukraine emergency, please press 2 to speak to one of our dedicated agents.
    -If you feel worried, lonely, or need access to food and medication or for anything else press 3 for The National Support Line.

    The new line goes live at 10am today (Wed 9th March) and will be operational between 10-6 Monday to Friday. The new line is intended to deal with calls regarding advice and signposting and will be using the same information we have in the operator manual. We are still likely to deal with callers on the NSL requiring emotional support in relation to the Ukraine emergency.
  • 4/03/2022
    Ukraine language reminder

    Please read the language guide on the Ukraine section of the operator manual and be sure to use neutral language on calls and when making any notes. The Red Cross must remain impartial in conflicts. Please avoid words such as invasion, attack and aggression. Better alternatives include: conflict, violence or the situation in Ukraine.
  • 4/03/2022
    Collecting information for International Family Tracing

    International Family Tracing: Please do not record the names or other details of family members whom service users are attempting to trace in your case notes or anywhere else. IFT will contact the service user directly to take this information.
  • 1/03/2022
    Ukraine updates

    A group of volunteer legal professionals with immigration/asylum expertise was set up on 28 February 2022 to provide free UK immigration and asylum advice to Ukrainian citizens affected by the conflict in Ukraine.

    To request advice, people should contact ukraine@freemovement.org.uk with some details of their circumstances and advice needed. They will do their best to connect them to a lawyer.

February updates

  • 27/02/2022 PM
    Ukraine updates
    We know there are many difficult calls coming in about the situation in Ukraine. There might be some queries that we don’t have answers to at this point in time.
    We’re working on finding as much as we can for you, but for now the most up to date information that we have can be found in the Ukraine updates page and FAQ document available at the bottom of the page that has been prepared by colleagues in Crisis Response.

    Please direct the callers to the BRC page https://www.redcross.org.uk/about-us/what-we-do/international/ukraine as well as to the government updates and advice on https://www.gov.uk/world/ukraine/news.

    Please bear with us while we’re preparing more specific guidance on how to handle these difficult calls. For now, we’re attaching the guidance that is available at the moment, hoping it will be helpful not only for the callers but for all of you as well.

    Watch this video on CALMER framework
  • 22/02/2022 PM
    Storms in Cornwall
    If we have any calls to the National Support Line regarding the recent storms in Cornwall, please inform callers that there is a dedicated helpline for residents who need support.
    Residents affected by power cuts and needing extra support can call 03001231118
    > from 9am – 6pm today and tomorrow
    > from 10am on Wednesday
    where a team can give advice and pass on specific needs to other agencies or departments.

    You can also direct callers to see this link to the Cornwall government website for updates and more information: https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/council-news/environment-culture-and-planning/update-on-storms-eunice-and-franklin/
  • 18/02/2022 PM
    Storm/flood details

In light of the current Weather warnings, our colleagues in Crisis Response have kindly put together some information and weblinks in order for you to be able to provide our callers with the best possible support. There are several web links:
Met Office Weather Warnings page,
BRC page on how to support during a storm
Helping callers find out who their electricity provider is
How to stay safe in storms and floods and what to do with power outages.

Please take some time to familiarise yourself with these details and web links and reach out to your on shift Supervisor if you require any further help.

For all calls relating to the weather warning please add ‘STORM EUNICE’ to the top of your case notes.


Supervisors- if any queries crop up that you cannot get answers for in the SLOM update then please reach out to OST for further guidance.

If the service user calls 105 they will be put through to their power suppliers emergency number (added 21/02/2022 PM)

  • 16/02/2022
    Language Line issue resolved

    Language Line issue is now resolved. Please continue to call in the usual way by searching ‘Language Line’ in the search bar and connecting via conference call. (See SLOM for guidance).

    If you are having any technical issues please note down the time, what the issue is, what you did or tried to do, what happened when you did this and inform your supervisor so that OST can be informed. This way we can raise this with Language Line to fix.
  • 15/02/2022
    British family members in Ukraine

    If you are concerned about a British family member in Ukraine please contact the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office by email: fcdo.correspondence@fcdo.gov.uk or by calling 020 7008 5000
  • 14/02/2022
    Children and Families Across Borders

    Children and Families Across Borders signpost’s description has been updated in the Signposting page. The organisation does not provide family tracing services. Signpost to BRC and Salvation Army Family Tracing services instead.
  • 11/02/2022
    Mitel
    Calls on the support line are offered by Mitel to operators in a specific order.
    The operators who are set to available for the longest amount of time are at the top of the queue and should receive incoming calls first. The operators who have only just set themselves onto available will be at the bottom of the queue.

    An issue has been reported by operators who have noticed that the system sometimes skips an operator or more than one operator who is waiting on available in the queue. In these instances the system instead offers the call to the person at the bottom of the queue.

    In this instance, the operator is advised to logout and log back in, as this usually helps to fix the issue.

    If operators experience this happening please report this on Whatsapp and the Ops Support Team will log it so we can work on the fix.
  • 10/02/2022
    Northern Ireland Medication Referrals

    The Northern Ireland area has confirmed that it does not provide medicine pickup and delivery. Please do not make these kinds of referrals to the area.
  • 8/02/2022
    Independent Living and Transport update

    Independent Living and Transport have now been removed from the list of referrals offer in the local areas. Please signpost Independent Living related queries to the BRC Support at Home (available in the SLOM, signposting page). The services might also provide transport to/from hospital, so please use this option in case of transport queries (as well as external signposts).

    When signposting to the above, please add signpost as normal, with BRC category and choose ‘Independent Living’ from the list of services.
  • 02/02/2022
    Searching before creating new contact records


    GENTLE REMINDER: Before creating a new contact record for referrals, please check that we don’t already have the service user on our system by searching for their name and telephone number. Duplicate records can cause confusion and delays in providing services. Thank you.

January updates

  • 31/01/2022
    Power shortages (particularly in the North area)

    If calls are received regarding power shortages, we have been advised we can’t help on individual cases and that the SU will need to contact their power suppliers. If they are vulnerable, they will be passed on to the local BRC responders by the power company.

    Also, to reiterate: power suppliers are responsible for providing hot food and water to SU. Vulnerable people include: disabled individuals on machines, families with young children and/or vulnerable children that would be impacted by this.

    SUs may call 105 free of charge to find out who their energy provider is if they do not know, and will put them through to their local network operator who can give you help and advice.
  • 28/01/2022
    North Area Independent Living

    North area no longer has capacity to respond to any NSL Independent Living (IL) referrals. This is likely to continue for some time while IL colleagues are managing their seasonal surge work and their existing contracts. We have reached out to the area for some possible alternative signposts so please watch this space for any updates.
  • 23/01/2022
    BRC ICRC Data Breach

    Restoring Family Links (RFL) beneficiary data belonging to around 60 National Societies and other partners hosted on external systems managed by the ICRC has been compromised in a major cyber security incident.

    We may receive calls to The National Support Line from callers who are concerned about the impact of this. Please use the FAQ document below to respond to any questions.

    If the caller requires a follow up call or further action is required, please complete the MS forms (as well as the case notes).

    This form can be used if:

    Callers have an ongoing case with the International Family Tracing service which requires urgent action
    Callers are concerned they (or their families) are at increased risk as a result of the data breach
    Callers would like British Red Cross to delete their data from BRC systems (the ‘right to be forgotten’)
    Callers would like to receive copies of their personal data held by BRC (a ‘subject access request’)

    For further information please see:
    International Family Tracing Data Breach FAQ

    NB – Please ask operators if they do receive any calls of this nature, to add the words “DATA BREACH” in the case notes. (Updated 26/1)
  • 21/01/2022
    Referrals guidance

    When making referrals for food, transport or medication, we should be checking whether service users have exhausted other options for support. This ensures local areas aren’t overwhelmed by referrals and that they can prioritise giving support to the service users whose need is most urgent.
    It’s important that we record in summary notes the steps service users have already taken, such as contacting the Trussel Trust or NHS Volunteer Responders, and explain that they haven’t been able to obtain support in other ways, or that they aren’t able to use these services due to disability or other reasons.

    Please see the Winter Referrals Guide on SLOM for further information.
  • 20/01/2022
    Safeguarding officer on AL

    Ataa Amo, the NSL dedicated safeguarding officer, is on annual leave from January 18 to 25th. In her absence, please contact the Safeguarding Assurance Team on 0300 004 0377 (this number is in Mitel). Please follow all other normal procedures established in the Operator Manual.
  • 19/01/2022 PM
    Signposting update

    Looking at the use of the current signpost categories and comparing with the types of calls we receive and signposting given, we have recognised the following signposts are being used frequently and as a result, have now added these additional local signposts to our current database on Dynamics and Sandbox.

    They are as follows:
    -Trussell Trust
    -Turn 2 Us
    -Age UK
    -Citizens Advice

    Please ensure that for those organisations you firstly choose the category as normal, and then add them in ‘Related Organisation’ field (as in the picture below). This will help with our reporting and understanding how we can support these callers better.
  • 19/01/2022 PM
    The Operational Management Team would like to take this opportunity to bring you the news that our long-standing volunteer, Lesley Smith, has decided to step away from the Support Line for the foreseeable future. She spoke with Martyn on Monday to let him know about her decision, and they agreed that she would personally inform her fellow volunteers in last night’s drop-in session.

    Lesley will continue to retain a connection to the service as a trainer for our Support Line Operator course. We will share the information with all our colleagues via email and will also include in the next supervisor/operator newsletters.

    Clare will continue to facilitate the drop ins going forward.
  • 19/01/2022 PM
    Signposting update

    Looking at the use of the current signpost categories and comparing with the types of calls we receive and signposting given, we have recognised the following signposts are being used frequently and as a result, have now added these additional local signposts to our current database on Dynamics and Sandbox.

    They are as follows:
    -Trussell Trust
    -Turn 2 Us
    -Age UK
    -Citizens Advice

    Please ensure that for those organisations you firstly choose the category as normal, and then add them in ‘Related Organisation’ field (as in the picture below). This will help with our reporting and understanding how we can support these callers better.
  • 18/01/2022
    Additional Queue update

    We have been reviewing the performance of the additional queue since it began. It would appear that having an operator logged into both queues is causing an increase in dropped calls. As a result, we are going to trial having the designated operator/operators signed in just to the additional queue. This means having up to 2 Operators logged in to the line for their whole shift.
    Where there is lower capacity, 1 Operator should be logged in and on shifts with larger capacity, 2 Operators should be assigned to log in to P025. You should use your discretion on less busier shifts/times and utilise 1 of the 2 Ops logged in to the new queue who may do any call backs needed.
  • 09/01/2022
    NSL Operators Whatsapp Group

    A gentle reminder to all operators and supervisors: when queries appear on the whatsapp chat it is for the supervisor only to respond and other operators should not be responding to these queries. The reason for this is to maintain clear channels of communication and to avoid instances where incorrect information or advice is given out. Supervisors should always be monitoring the chat but if operators see that there are unanswered queries in the whatsapp group they should reach out to the supervisor by ringing the supervisor line.