This week support4dacorum would like to highlight one of their member groups working creatively during lockdown.
Dacorum Mencap has continued to support adults with a learning disability and their parents/carers during lockdown. We have had to change the way we work considerably, as we can no longer run our group social activities out in the community for our members that normally give their unpaid carers respite. We quickly set up new systems so we could keep in touch to stop them feeling isolated.
Four times a day we run an hour’s video chat session with members that use social media by hosting Quizzes, games and celebrating lockdown birthdays. Each session gives members a chance to chat about what they have been doing. All have been really enjoying these sessions as do their unpaid carers who get a short break. This has also encouraged friendship groups to setup their own video chats, easing isolation even more.
We regularly phone those who do not use social media for a chat, to try and ease any confusion, fears, combat isolation and check they are ok and don’t need anything.
The feedback received from the members and their carers has been amazing, so it seems what we have been doing has helped ease lockdown in a small way for them all.
One of our members Clare Manley is shielding at her parents house and said
“You have definitely helped me through this shielding by keeping in touch by phone. Then you got me doing video chats on Facebook Messenger every day which helped put a smile on my face and make me laugh. You know how to put a smile on my face when I’m feeling down. If it wasn’t for you, I don’t know what I’d have done”
We must also thank The Herts Disability Sports Foundation for their support. They have hosted 4 virtual discos for us over Zoom. Approximately 40 members took part along with staff and volunteers. It was such a success with whole families dancing and singing in their own homes and some in their gardens.