Call the LionHeart Helpline

UK: 0800 009 2960 or +44 (0)121 289 3300

Request a callback


Your coronavirus concerns, and how we're helping

bridge (cropped)

The word unprecedented has been thrown around a lot in recent months and weeks but the fact is, there has never been a period quite like this for the support staff at LionHeart.

Even times of recession which have impacted on the property industry and its people don't quite compare, because the Covid-19 pandemic has literally affected how everyone lives their lives.

During the first six to eight weeks of the lockdown in the UK, calls to the LionHeart helpline and requests for help were up by over 40% on the same time last year.

So what are the main reasons RICS professionals are calling us for right now, and what are they concerned about? More importantly, how are we supporting them? 

Possibly the biggest number of calls we are taking is from those who want a referral to our legal helpline (LionHeart offers a referral for free initial legal advice to RICS professionals in the UK and certain European countries). People are feeling vulnerable and fear losing their jobs; they are worried about their future and putting their family's stability at risk. They often want to know what their rights are in the workplace and where they might stand if their company decides to make redundancies following the initial furloughing help being offered by the government.

We have had some requests for financial help - this includes grants if their income has dried up completely, particularly among the self-employed or contractors who have felt an immediate effect of the lockdown and being unable to work normally.
Our support officers have also been helping people determine any government support or benefits they may be entitled to claim.

We've heard from APC candidates struggling with the additional stress of either working remotely and maybe facing the prospect of sitting for their APC panels virtually rather than in person. Possibly what is even more stressful is those APC candidates who have been furloughed and their plans for career progression put on hold, with no way of knowing when or if things will return to normal for them.

We've received some requests for our counselling service, which has continued as normal remotely, from RICS professionals who are finding this time difficult for various reasons. Our counsellors were already specialist trained in delivering therapy sessions online; however, since lockdown they have also been offering support to clients via secure email and text talk, as they have discovered that with more people at home it has sometimes been difficult for their clients to find private space to access sessions.

What makes this situation unique is that it's affecting RICS professionals everywhere, to varying degrees. We've had calls from all over the UK, Europe, Canada, India and Africa and have authorised a number of grants to help those who are struggling financially, especially in some areas where state support has been limited.

We have had some enquiries for help from people who have found themselves in the very difficult position of being between jobs - not eligible for furlough because they have technically left their old employer on or before a certain date, but then find their new position has been put on hold or they haven't been there long enough to claim furlough through their new employer. In some cases, this has left people with no income at all, simply because they made a career step at the wrong time.

Our team are also managing their usual caseloads, checking in with the people we've been supporting since before lockdown to see how they're doing, and following up with those who rang us for help early on in lockdown. This support will continue for as long as necessary.

It's hard to know what the future will hold. We've had our first flurry of calls from the people who have been immediately affected by the current situation. However, we are expecting demand to stay the same or go up in future. Many people feel like they are 'on hold' at the moment, but the longer-term effects of the economic uncertainty are still unknown.

Will there be jobs lost? How soon will people's businesses recover?

There is also the longer-term impact on people's mental health from this long period of isolation - people may struggle with depression, feel anxious, be experiencing strain in their relationships. These are all things that might linger long after the lockdown is eased.

Sadly, there is also likely to be a good deal of unprocessed grief as a result of this time. People may have lost loved ones they've been unable to say goodbye to, unable to hold proper funerals or be with wider family while they grieve. We support many people with bereavement counselling and our experience tells us that sometimes the effects of grief may not be felt until months or even years later.

We are in the fortunate position of being able to be very flexible in the way we respond to people's needs. We have been here for RICS professionals for well over 100 years and plan to be here for many more, through good times and bad.

If you're struggling with anything at the moment, or know a colleague who is, please know you can pick up the phone and speak to us in confidence and we will do all we can to help you weather the storm.

Bena Kansara is LionHeart's support services manager, overseeing our team of support officers and counsellors, and has worked for the charity for well over 20 years.

  • Call the LionHeart helpline in confidence on 0800 009 2960 or email
  • Read more about the support LionHeart is offering here

Latest Posts

5th - How youth counselling helped us
22nd - Living with an invisible illness
9th - What makes a good trustee?
1st - Things you must do as a final year surveying student!
4th - Dyslexia in surveying
28th - Reflecting on 12 years at LionHeart
13th - New beginnings and how to embrace them
5th - Losing a sibling to suicide
5th - Celebrating one year alcohol-free
25th - Caring for someone with MS
20th - How to set boundaries at work
17th - 'Calling LionHeart was like being thrown a life jacket'
6th - Spotlight on winter fundraising
3rd - Facing cancer
14th - Identifying and dealing with workplace bullying
13th - Why make a will?
12th - Living with OCD
3rd - Autism and my road of discovery
22nd - Frequently asked questions about LionHeart
25th - 25 years of LionHeart
11th - 'Stress caused me permanent disability'
18th - Diversifying our board, and why
18th - Coaching to unlock a new future
12th - How to help your lonely teen
9th - Asking for help - as the helper
28th - Why talking about dying is so important
7th - 9 simple ways to cut stress
23rd - Living & succeeding with ADHD
16th - 'I came to see how much of my life was run on adrenaline'
10th - "My daughter didn't want to be here any more"
4th - My life-changing cancer diagnosis
13th - Reassessing how you drink
4th - Looking to the future
19th - How alcohol almost cost me everything
18th - Children's grief and how to help
16th - Alcohol, anxiety and how secrets keep you sick
4th - "I had no idea stress could cause a real physical pain"
22nd - 5 ways to get your teen talking
18th - The Positives of Menopause
13th - Baby loss and depression
12th - The pandemic's impact on children's mental health (and what we can do about it)
8th - Don't judge a book - a story of depression and change
5th - LionHeart Back to Work support
29th - Post APC submission
16th - How families feel youth mental health
24th - 6 top tips if you've been referred
20th - Coaching for change
12th - "I'd hit absolute bottom - but it was the catalyst to seek help”
22nd - Spring into action by fundraising for LionHeart
4th - Reflecting on university mental health
15th - My experiences of counselling
20th - Worry Time - and how it helps
18th - My furlough & redundancy journey
13th - Volunteering and LionHeart
30th - A road to change
2nd - Trusteeship through lockdown and uncertainty
12th - The importance of legacies
10th - Overwhelm - and overcoming it
8th - Lockdown and my mental health
28th - Creativity at Work
20th - Video
24th - 'If I can do it, so can you'
22nd - How to ace your APC interview online
8th - Help! I've been referred... what now?
3rd - Your coronavirus concerns, and how we're helping
12th - How coronavirus might be affecting your mental health
12th - Managing health anxiety through Covid-19 - and how we helped Mike
31st - Rising to the coronavirus challenge
24th - Keep connecting - in a different way
13th - Demonstrating our impact
4th - The Big C and grabbing life
4th - "Cancer wasn't meant to happen to us"
30th - My journey as a charity trustee
7th - Top 10 tips for CVs and interviews
9th - Grief and loss at Christmas
7th - Charity trusteeship
6th - How counselling can help manage stress
9th - Living with anxiety and depression
10th - How coaching can help
16th - Changing attitudes to mental health
15th - The vicious circle of body image & mental health
14th - Social Anxiety & how we can help
11th - Life with Parkinson's
29th - What is Bipolar?
29th - The one about the Bipolar surveyor...
12th - Memory tips from the training front line
22nd - Losing a parent
7th - LionHeart's support was a game-changer when I failed APC
16th - When the reality of motherhood doesn't quite go to plan
10th - The story behind surveying's Sisterhood Summit
2nd - The rollercoaster of being a first-time dad
22nd - My father's suicide and what I've learnt
14th - Tips for your RICS APC final assessment interview
7th - Trust in the charity sector
21st - Is it really okay to not be okay?
17th - Building resilience through your APC
8th - 7 ways to get more active this year
4th - Coping with loss and grief at Christmas
5th - "I was told I might not be cut out to be a surveyor"
26th - Resilience, and why we need it
21st - APC Revision Top Ten Tips
12th - LionHeart on new fundraising code of practice
19th - Living with 'invisible' illness
14th - How LionHeart helped us live life
13th - Men's Health Week 2017
22nd - Living with panic attacks
18th - Why we must care about work life balance
11th - The chicken-and-egg of mental health and shame
2nd - What I learnt from Dry January
31st - "My 19-year journey to MRICS is what made me"
5th - Ways to be kind to yourself in 2017
7th - Suicide prevention
1st - Coping with APC stress
13th - "I constantly watch my husband for suicidal signs"
26th - Dealing with referral at APC Final Assessment
19th - How mindfulness can help your relationships
18th - "I live, and thrive, with depression"
17th - Men and mental health
16th - Mental health and your relationship
26th - Starting out in surveying
11th - A happy retirement
1st - My Dry(ish) January
21st - Spring clean your finances
6th - When to consider couples counselling
4th - Having a (financially) healthier Christmas
18th - How to help a loved one with an addiction
15th - Reflections on the Lionheart Surveyors' Football League season
12th - Carers
10th - How LionHeart can support carers
9th - Desktop Relaxation techniques
29th - Techniques to help combat anxiety
20th - Helping a family member with depression
18th - Achievements that make a difference
16th - Five things that may indicate your colleague needs help
11th - Helping during a panic attack