Learning Disability Week 2020 is from 15th – 21st June and the theme is ‘The Importance of Friendship During Lockdown’

Friendships and the lack of friendships for people with learning disabilities is something that we at Care Housing Association (Care) know learning disability service providers work hard to support tenants with. It is an important and intrinsic part of their everyday work.

Service providers help people with learning and other disabilities to overcome barriers to communities, and to friendships and relationships that many other people don’t have to contend with. It takes a huge amount of skill to make a real difference in this area of work.

During lockdown, loneliness and isolation have been big issues for a lot of people; we haven’t been able to spend time with our friends and loved ones, and for many people this has caused anxiety and other health issues which have led to low mood and a poorer quality of life.

We know at Care how important it is to do as much as we possibly can to support our tenants. During lockdown we have been contacting staff and some tenants across all our properties every week to see how everyone’s doing and how the coronavirus is affecting them. During these calls, the genuine care and commitment of the staff supporting our tenants has really shone through. The level of care has been reflected by the very low number of reports of coronavirus across our properties.

We have thought about how we can help people during this difficult time and have used the Care Foundation Grant to fund some applications for technology which enable tenants to keep in touch with those important to them. One support manager sent us this feedback:

Thank you so much for the tablet you supplied for our tenant during the Covid 19 lockdown period. By doing this you ensured that they are able to stay connected to their loved ones who have been unable to visit. This helped to greatly reduce anxieties and concerns for loved ones – they were able to video call each other and even arranged a night in and family meal together virtually. I’m sure this will continue to be used for years to come.

We have also noticed a greater appreciation for the birthday cards we started sending out to tenants at the beginning of this year since the lockdown began.

As difficult as this time has been, and still is, it’s a real privilege to be able to be involved with support services and tenants, and to feel as if we’re offering even a little bit of extra help to them in a time of crisis.

Care really does care.

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