Our Keeping People Connected service was set up in response to the evidence suggesting that people with learning disabilities would be significantly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The project launched in April as part of a regional response coordinated by The North East Learning Disability Network and Inclusion North. 14 organisations from across the North East and Cumbria were involved in the delivery of the project, supporting over 1,100 people in the first 3 months.
The project supports people by phone, email, text and social media including daily group video calls allowing people to connect with friends safely from home. There is a closed Keeping Connected Facebook group people can join too. We have been sending activity packs out to people during lockdown and even provided people with a smart phone loan to get them online.
In County Durham, we have supported over 80 clients, working in partnership with Darlington Association on Disability and Include In Autism. The project has been life-saving for many of the people we have supported, highlighting issues that were already being experienced before the Covid-19 crisis including severe mental health issues, loneliness, isolation and social exclusion.
Initially, the project was funded by the Integrated Care System, and then through the Durham Clinical Commissioning Group. As we move forward with the project, funding has been sought by the Durham Area Action Partnership to continue until November.
If you or anyone you know would benefit from Keeping People Connected, please get in touch by calling us on 01388 449 410 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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