LinkLiving spreads rays of sunshine with new health and wellbeing campaign

LinkLiving, which supports those with experience of trauma and disadvantage, has revealed the significant toll that the current COVID-19 crisis is taking on the people it supports and has responded with a new campaign.

LinkLiving spreads rays of sunshine with new health and wellbeing campaign

Gemma Dishon, support worker for LinkLiving’s Edinburgh Young Person’s Service, reassures a service user via video link

The charity has revealed that some of the 1,500 people they support have coronavirus symptoms, and a number of their staff are also having to self-isolate.

As the organisation – which carries out work across East Central Scotland – faces these unprecedented times, a brand new campaign, A Ray of Sunshine, has been launched.

This provides additional support to service users to help them to maintain positive mental health and wellbeing, and offers support more widely to others who are struggling during the current lockdown. 

LinkLiving has changed the way it delivers its much-needed support, replacing face-to-face services with phone calls and online support where possible, whilst ensuring that those who really cannot manage without the charity’s visits still receive them.

The charity also runs 24/7 accommodation for young people who have been in care, those who have been previously homeless and people who have severe and enduring mental health challenges.

Staff from the charity are creating their own content which is being shared as part of a planned approach to deliver uplifting, inspiring support. This has included advice on maintaining a routine, sleeping well, eating healthily, and ideas for parents struggling confined to home. Other staff have written stories and poems, painted pictures, and even danced for videos (like nobody is watching). 

This culminates in a weekly online TV programme on the LinkLiving website and social media.

LinkLiving spreads rays of sunshine with new health and wellbeing campaign

Sarah Smith

LinkLiving chief executive, Sarah Smith, said: “We are all anxious and scared right now, but for the people that we support who have experienced past traumas, and who are already isolated and lonely, the pandemic is magnifying their existing difficulties.

“We support around 1,500 of the most isolated, lonely and often traumatised people. Many of whom have absolutely no one to turn to at this time.

“They may be young people who have come from care, people who have been homeless, adults who have experienced childhood trauma, or who have severe and enduring mental health problems.

“These people have already been through so much.

“Many have traumas and disadvantages, such as a being emotionally, physically or sexually abused. This can lead to anxiety, poor mental health, difficulties with relationships, with managing day to day life or holding down a job.

“Some of the people we support have the coronavirus and many, particularly the older people, are having to self-isolate.

“Like everyone we are having to adapt at the moment and this is putting considerable strain on our resources, but I couldn’t be prouder of the LinkLiving teams as they work so hard and selflessly to ensure that nobody is alone.”

LinkLiving has called for those who are able to supporting the campaign to consider making a donation, given the significant financial impact facing the charity at this time. A microsite has been set up at or you can post a cheque.

  • Read all of our articles relating to COVID-19 here.
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