Extern, which was visited earlier this month for the second time in just over a year by TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, is currently working to ensure vulnerable young people and families, people who are homeless, and those who are already living with mental health or problem drug and alcohol issues can stay safe during the crisis.

In addition to requesting donations for their hardship appeal, which can be made online at www.extern.org or via justgiving.com, the charity is also urgently appealing for members of the public to help them source vital items which are in high demand and proving difficult to source. These include basic mobile phones and credit, foil blankets for people who are homeless, warm clothing, handwash/soap, hand wipes, nappies, cleaning fluids/equipment and sanitary products.

Extern has implemented wide-ranging measures to ensure that the individuals it supports, including people who are homeless, young people living in the care system, and minority communities, among others – will be able to access the life-changing supports they require.

These measures include using online technology to update and connect with people, delivering packages of food and essential supplies, and ensuring acute frontline services for mental health and homelessness are available as usual.

Extern CEO, Charlie Mack, said: “While we are all working to adapt to the uncertainty at the moment, what never changes is Extern’s commitment to the people we serve. To that end, we are working hard to ensure that our services remain operational so that everyone who need our supports continues to receive them.

“The rapidly changing situation has meant that some of our services – particularly those supporting people who are homeless or living in hostels  and our young people and family respite centres– now face a shortage of important items. We would appeal to anyone who is able to source or donate these items to get in touch with us as soon as possible, and we will arrange for these to be collected in a safe and considerate manner. Likewise, 100% of any money you can donate to our hardship appeal will go straight into helping people who are affected by this ongoing situation.”

To donate to the Coronavirus Hardship Appeal, please visit


To provide any of the items listed, email [email protected] with details and a member of Extern’s staff will be in touch.

For up-to-date details on Extern’s service provision, please visit www.extern.org/Pages/Category/all-our-services.

Extern is also encouraging members of the public to follow its social media channels (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), where it is also providing regular updates and also useful advice on looking after your mental health at this unsettling time.