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Coronavirus: we’re here to help

Biddy explains how the BLF helpline team is supporting people at this time, and how you can help the team answer even more calls

Biddy, one of our specialist helpline advisors
Biddy, one of our helpline team

Since the later part of February, the team on the helpline has been much busier than usual, and virtually the only thing we’re being asked about is how best to cope with coronavirus. We get calls from very worried people living with a lung condition, their families and carers, and people who have recovered from COVID-19.

As coronavirus can have more severe symptoms for older people and for those with a lung condition, we understand what a worrying time this is.

We're working to get the very best advice out there

Across the BLF we’re working to get the very best advice out there. We’re talking to the policymakers at the NHS and PHE to make sure people with lung conditions are being taken into account. We’re working with expert health care professionals to update our advice as things change. And our website and social media teams are listening to your questions and responding as quickly as possible.

So when you talk to one of us at the helpline team, we can give you up-to-date advice and help.

Handwashing and good hygiene remains essential

Please do take time to read the information on our website. Everyone must now stay at home, and if your lung condition is severe, you should be following social shielding advice. Follow your usual plan to manage your condition and take your medication as prescribed. Handwashing and good hygiene remain essential. To help yourself at home, stay in touch with family and friends; keep yourself busy – you could try cooking, reading or other hobbies like knitting – and keep active. Have a look at our online exercise videos.

If you, or someone you live with, has symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature or a new persistent cough) use the online 111 coronavirus service. Only call 111 if you can’t get help online.

It can be tricky to know if any new symptoms are due to a flare-up or COVID-19. But typically flare-ups of conditions like asthma and COPD are not associated with high fever. Follow your usual flare-up plan, but use the 111 service if you have a high temperature or a new continuous cough.

Our calls have skyrocketed and we need your help

Since this began, the number of people calling us has skyrocketed, and sadly, we’re weren’t able to talk to everyone and share vital advice with them.

The good news is that we will be adding to the team on the helpline so we can answer more calls.

But we need your help to do this. At this time, more than ever, people with lung conditions need someone to listen and give advice. It costs £14 for us to answer a call and give the support people need.

By donating, you’ll be giving hope and help to people who really need it.

Donate today


I have got Alpha-1 Anti-trypsin deficiency and am on the shielded list of the highly vulnerable group of people.  And on the high risk group.  Is it ok for me to be able to sit in my back garden.  I have neighbours either side of me.  One side has young children who are outside quite often.  

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29 April 2020