We have to date awarded £328,572 to support people with disabilities from our Coronavirus Response Funding.
People with Learning Disabilities
There is a huge contrast in Covid-19 mortality rates between people with disabilities and those without disabilities. It is 2.4 times greater for females and 1.9 times greater for males (Office for National Statistics, 19.06.2020). Care Quality Commission data shows that a disproportionate number of people with learning disabilities have died as a result of Covid-19.
People with learning disabilities also face extreme levels of social isolation and loneliness; they are seven times more likely to feel lonely than the general population – and the coronavirus crisis is exacerbating this. The closure of day services, loss of routine, difficulties staying in touch with family and keeping active means that they are struggling to cope.
One local organisation told us:
“We have witnessed a deterioration in the mental well-being of people with learning disabilities in our community. We have experienced two overdoses and the mortality of five members. These incidences also impact on the wider group and increase the likelihood of depression. The physical challenges and concerns of the virus has greatly affected those with learning disabilities and OCD, increasing anxieties around going out, being with people and having people in their environment.”
Despite lockdown being lifted, the world will continue to be an extremely challenging place for people with learning disabilities. Those who were independent prior to the pandemic will find the new rules and restrictions bewildering and as a result risk losing their independence. Many will need support to acclimatise to the new adjustments such as one-way systems and directions in shops, the new requirements on public transport and understanding of social distancing – to name a few. The need for ongoing accessible information in the forthcoming year of changes is vital.
People with Hearing Impairments
A local charity that supports people with vision and hearing impairments reported that the Deaf community were struggling to understand the information provided by the Government. There was no BSL interpreter at Government briefings until the end of April 2020 (6 weeks into lockdown) and some people with hearing impairments are still finding it hard to obtain information.
As masks are becoming worn more frequently in day to day situations, profoundly deaf people who rely on lip-reading are finding it harder to communicate and understand in certain situations.
Charities who help people with disabilities have had considerable challenges in adapting their services to meet the complex, unique needs of their service users during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Many people with disabilities have been told that they are highly vulnerable to Coronavirus and must self-isolate. This means they can no longer visit the support group or charity that has helped them prior to the pandemic.
Charities who support people with additional needs know that they have to cease contact and outreach with their clients, which will create crisis, illness and family breakdown.
The Rainbow Trust provides vital support to families who are caring for a terminally ill child, through a trained Family Support Worker:
“The families we support are already facing the unimaginable thought that their child might die before them. They now find themselves isolated due to the high risk of infection.”
“We will continue to provide support to 125 families, providing practical support such as helping to get groceries and medications for families whilst they are in isolation, and proving emotional support to parents either via the phone, or online to help them to cope with this horrendous situation and the fear and uncertainty that their child might worsen as a result of the virus.”
White Lodge Centre in Chertsey told us how they needed to adapt their services in order to meet the needs of their clients:
“Clients have specific home exercise programmes and in the weeks leading up to us being closed, we gave extra advice and videoed some of the sessions on their phones so that they could follow them. We have lent out resistance bands and weights so they can exercise independently. We have placed 6 special bikes and standing frames in people’s homes to continue their programmes.
“We will be running an advice service for people with long term neurological physical conditions (e.g. Parkinsons, MS, strokes). This will consist of one of our Lead Specialist Physiotherapists working from home remotely…She will offer telephone advice to keep in contact with our clients to keep them motivated and sticking to their exercise plan, managing anxiety levels…and also video consultations to carers/families and individuals.”
The Sunnybank Trust in Epsom said:
“We want to ensure no one with learning disabilities is left isolated during the Covid-19 crisis.
Our action plan includes a twice weekly radio station for people with learning disabilities, weekly activity packs to all those we support, weekly phone calls from our volunteers – both to care homes and individuals, continued advocacy support via phone to those who need it, regular Zoom coffee and chat/activity groups, weekly drama group via Zoom and using our social media to link the activities”.
The Meath Epilepsy Charity has told us many of their clients “have learning disabilities (from mild to severe) and 40% have Autism and will have difficulty in understanding what is happening and why. We do not want to upset or distress our residents in any way but we want to keep them safe, stimulated and distracted from all the change going on around them…keep[ing] their mobility and cognitive abilities as agile as possible.”
Below are the grants we have awarded locally to support people with disabilities.
|Charity||Project Description||Amount Awarded|
|Active Prospects||Funding for equipment and activities to support the physical and mental wellbeing of people with learning disabilities, autism or acquired brain injury||£5,000|
|Active Prospects||Equipment, IT licences and activity packs to address isolation for people with learning disabilities, autism or mental health issues and sensory resources to address emotional ill-health||£5,000|
|Bloomin' Arts||Funding toward the essential running costs of a charity, based in East Surrey, that supports adults with learning difficulties, during the COVID-19 pandemic||£5,000|
|Caleidoscope CIC||Funding to provide support online and by phone for children with SEN, autism and co-morbid conditions during the Coronavirus pandemic||£3,560|
|Cancer Testing South||Funding toward PPE for an organisation that provides testing and support for men who may have prostate cancer.||£2,000
|Care Ashore||Funding to purchase a range of new/replacement equipment and volunteer costs to provide activities for 47 retired seaman who now find themselves isolated in their care home||£1,400|
|Challengers||IT costs for a charity supporting disabled children and young people during the Coronavirus pandemic||£4,173|
|Cherry Trees||Funding towards the essential running costs of a children's charity offering respite care to the parents of children with severe and complex needs, during the COVID-19 pandemic||£5,000|
|Cherry Trees||Funding toward the essential running costs of a charity that offers respite for families with children that have multiple disabilities, during the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.||£25,000|
|Dame Vera Lynn Children's Charity||Funding towards the essential running costs, IT costs and education technology for an organisation, based in West Sussex, that supports families with children aged 5 and under, that have cerebral palsy, during the Covid-19 pandemic.||£3,120|
|Disability Arts in Surrey||Funding toward project costs for an organisation, that allow disabled people to get into the arts, to enable them to offer an online support package to their community, during the Covid-19 pandemic||£3,864
|Disability Initiative||Funding toward delivering an outreach approach by an organisation that works with people that have severe disabilities, during the COVID-19 pandemic||£5,000|
|Dramatize Theatre Company||Funding toward salary costs that will allow a drama charity, based in Sunbury-on-Thames, to produce online content for adults with learning disabilities, during the COVID-19 pandemic||£5,000|
|Dramatize Theatre Company||Funding toward purchasing tablets for learning disabled students and salary costs of a facilitator, for a drama charity, based in Sunbury-on-Thames, during the recovery of the Covid-19 pandemic.||£8,170|
|Dyscover Limited||Funding toward online classes for people who have survived strokes, led by a Speech and Language Therapist by a charity based in Cranleigh, during the COVID-19 pandemic||£5,000|
|Freewheelers Theatre and Media Ltd||Funding toward the designing and developing of free online courses for individuals and groups of people within the Mole Valley and Elmbridge area, during the COVID-19 pandemic||£5,000|
|Halow Project||Funding toward the purchase of equipment for an organisation, based in Guildford, that offers counselling and learning activities to those with learning disabilities, during the COVID-19 pandemic||£5,000|
|Halow Project||Funding for workshop sessions to support vulnerable people with learning disabilities following the Coronavirus pandemic||£25,000|
|Headway Surrey||Providing hardware/software and internet access to people with brain-injuries during the Covid-19 outbreak||£2,998|
|LinkAble Woking Ltd||To fund support of children and adults with learning disabilities during the Covid-19 crisis||£5,000|
|Mustard Seed Autism Trust||Funding for a charity supporting children with autism during the Coronavirus pandemic||£4,449|
|Parity For Disability||Staff costs towards a charity supporting profoundly disabled adults during the Coronavirus pandemic||£5,000|
|Peer Productions||Funding toward online classes to teach young females with learning disabilities about online safety, by an organisation that puts on meaningful productions in schools across Surrey, during the COVID-19 pandemic||£4,770
|Queen Elizabeth's Foundation for Disabled People (QEF)||Funding towards the additional costs incurred by acquiring PPE for those providing care for adults and children with disabilities during the Coronavirus pandemic||£5,000|
|Rainbow Trust Children's Charity||Salary costs for 3 months for a Family Support Worker, supporting families with terminally-ill children during the Covid-19 crisis||£4,750|
|Samson Centre for Multiple Sclerosis||Online physiotherapy for sufferers of MS, during the Coronavirus pandemic||£5,000
|Sight for Surrey||IT and phones costs to support people with sight and hearing loss, during the Coronavirus pandemic||£4,600
|Sight for Surrey||Funding to support existing and expanding services of a charity helping people with sight and hearing difficulties||£18,696|
|Stopgap Dance Company Ltd||Funding toward the salary of 4 free lance dance teachers, for an organisation, based in Waverley that brings together children with physical disabilities and helps them to learn to dance, during the COVID-19 pandemic||£4,000|
|Surrey Choices Employability||Funding for IT equipment to help tackle isolation for people with learning disabilities amid the Coronavirus pandemic||£5,000|
|Surrey Coalition of Disabled People||Purchase of 50 tablets for disabled isolated people to access community services and support during the Covid-19 pandemic||£5,000
|Synergy Dance Outreach||Funding to create remote dance and yoga sessions for Visually Impaired people during the Coronavirus pandemic||£3,739|
|Synergy Dance Outreach||Funding to provide remote exercise and yoga for disabled and older people during the Coronavirus pandemic||£5,988|
|TALK||Funding to provide a remote support service, including activity packs and telephone support to people who have been affected by a stroke and have aphasia, during the Coronavirus pandemic||£5,000|
|The Artventure Trust Ltd||A contribution to the salary costs of a charity offering arts-based activities for isolated disabled people during the Coronavirus pandemic||£5,000
|The Children's Trust||Funding for PPE and cleaning costs at charity centre caring for vulnerable children during the Coronavirus pandemic||£5,000
|The Grange Centre for People with Disabilities||Funding toward the purchase of equipment for staff to be able to work from home for a charity that supports those with disabilities, during the COVID-19 pandemic||£3,999
|The Include Project||Funding to deliver the choir and advice services online for people with learning disabilities, autism, dementia and brain injury, stroke or tumour, in Reigate and Banstead, during the Coronavirus pandemic||£5,000|
|The Meath Epilepsy Trust||Funding toward the purchase of separate changing facilities for staff, for a residential care home, based in Godalming, that supports people with severe epilepsy, during the Covid-19 pandemic||£5,000|
|The Meath Epilepsy Trust||Funding toward the purchase of equipment to keep residents' mobility and cognitive conditioning up, whilst being able to entertain their residents, for a charity that works with people who have complex epilepsy and severe physical and learning difficulties, during the COVID-19 pandemic||£5,000|
|The Meath Epilepsy Trust||Funding for a Fitness Instructor to work disabled people with complex needs amid the Coronavirus pandemic||£5,000|
|The Meath Epilepsy Trust||Funding toward the costs of enabling a charity, that works with people who have complex epilepsy and severe physical and learning difficulties, to fully open their facilities in Godalming, during the early stages of recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.||£25,000|
|The Orpheus Centre Trust||Core cost support for centre supporting young disabled adults during the Covid-19 crisis||£5,000|
|The Sunnybank Trust||Funding toward activity packs and a radio show for an organisation, based in North East Surrey, that supports adults with learning disabilities, during the COVID-19 pandemic||£3,628
|The Sunnybank Trust||Funding for a radio project to support people with learning disabilities during the Coronavirus pandemic||£21,119|
|The Woodlarks Centre||Funding toward the purchase of equipment and physiotherapy sessions, for an organisation, based in Waverley, that houses those with learning disabilities, during the COVID-19 pandemic.||£5,000|
|Waverley Hoppa Community Transport||Funding for 3 months of PPE for a transport charity supporting elderly, disabled and/or vulnerable people during the COVID19 pandemic||£5,000|
|White Lodge Centre||Funding toward a remote physiotherapy service for individuals who suffer with long-term neurological and physical conditions, during the COVID-19 pandemic||£5,000|
|Woking Strokeability||Funding toward online exercise classes, by an organisation, based in Woking, that helps rehabilitate people that have suffered from strokes, during the COVID-19 pandemic||£1,300|
|Yateley Industries For The Disabled||Funding towards equipment to protect people with disabilities during the Coronavirus pandemic||£1,250|
|YMCA East Surrey||Funding to produce and deliver specialised online exercise programmes for people with long term health conditions or disabilities isolating during the Coronavirus pandemic||£5,000|
|Young Epilepsy||Funding for 10 laptops to enable staff to work with young people and their families remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic||£3,500|
|Young Epilepsy - Laptops ||Funding for 10 laptops to enable staff to work with young people and their families remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic||£3,500|
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