People with learning disabilities and autism are particularly vulnerable in this pandemic. The changes to routine are causing heightened anxiety, people are feeling isolated and are struggling to understand what they can safely do and when.
Despite having restricted access to our community hub buildings due to Covid-19, our Day Opportunities team have had to find a way to creatively support over 220 people who normally attend the hubs on a regular basis. This funding is helping us to revamp our Day Opportunities and deliver a constantly changing service. It will help us to adapt our support as the environment around us continues to change and the pandemic develops.
The community hub teams are currently supporting people who normally attend our hubs by:
- Assisting 1-2-1 with socially distanced activities so people can leave their home in a safe way.
- Making 1-2-1 phone and video calls to people who are feeling anxious, upset or worried so they can access essential support at the most difficult and unpredictable of times – a lifeline for many.
- Supporting 24 people who are particularly vulnerable due to complex needs, mental health issues and/or isolation. (Now taking place safely in our buildings as much as possible.)
- Providing a timetable of online activities so people can keep in contact with their community hub friends and staff in a fun, safe and easily-accessed way – 50 people are taking part in online activities.
- Offering 1-2-1 and small group outdoor activities, including walks and day trips so people can have some level of normality and enjoy activities outside of their homes with friends where safe to do so.
- Helping people take part in engaging activities, including our Miles & Smiles challenge and StoryFest so they can keep up motivation levels – this is becoming even more important as the pandemic continues.
- Assisting the wider supported living service with fun, motivational activities, online activities and Speech & Language Therapy / communication needs.
- Offering small group and 1-2-1 activity sessions in our community hub buildings as much as possible.
As things progress, longer term consequences to people’s wellbeing are becoming apparent. The support of our Day Opportunities and our Ways to Wellness programme is becoming even more essential in helping people both physically and mentally. This money will help us invest to ensure we are continuing to support people with a high-quality service throughout the winter months.
At the same time, we have needed to purchase a large stock of PPE for our Day Opportunities, which we have never previously needed to do. The funding has also helped with the additional cost for this equipment.
Like many venues, the Style Acre Tea Room is so reliant on outdoor space and good weather to help sustain income at the moment due to social distancing measures. The outdoor space is lovely in summer but on cold, wet days in autumn and winter, it is not so appealing. With limited space inside, our Tea Room team were worried about the upcoming challenges as the seasons change.
After chatting with Tea Room Manager Tracy, customers Jess and Caroline wanted to help secure enough funds to find a solution. We have to say a huge thank you to both Jess and Caroline for creating and championing the Crowdfunder for the Tea Room. The money raised will help to secure additional weatherproof outdoor seating space.
£3890 has been raised through the Crowdfunder itself. Thank you to everyone who donated. We also have to say a big thank you to an anonymous supporter who kindly donated £2,000 offline to enable us to push above the £5000 target!
The Style Acre Tea Room is one of our social enterprises; it enables people with learning disabilities and autism to gain valuable work experience, skills and confidence. It is often a first stepping stone into work for the people we support in our Work Programme.
We have to say a big thank you and well done to everyone who has taken part! We think you were all fantastic. All the entry videos and Best in Show winner’s video can be found on our You Tube channel.
And also a huge thank you to the wonderful businesses who have donated prizes for our categories. These include: Happy Hounds Dog Grooming, Tails & Tweed Dog Grooming, Pause Photography, Happy Pets With Becs and Paws Bakery Thank you also to our judges for their help in choosing the winners: Lisa S, Daniel, Grace, Rachel, Lisa D, Katy-Ann, Christina, Nicole, Dom, Jenny, Henry, Nicky, John, Mark, Marianne, Dick, Andrew and Rachel.
We decided to run our virtual dog show as we couldn’t run the face-to-face event at the Tea Room this year. It is normally part of our Summer Fete. We hope to be back next year!
Anita will be in touch with the winners. Please contact us with any queries.
The Style Acre Tea Room is one of our social enterprises; it enables people with learning disabilities and autism to gain valuable work experience, skills and confidence.
After chatting with Tea Room Manager Tracy on a recent visit, one of our Tea Room customers – Jess Kellard – realised how hard the government guidance in relation to COVID-19 had made it for everyone involved in running the Tea Room – the small outside marquee has become a life line in wet weather for keeping things going and allowing customers to maintain social distancing.
Like many venues, the Tea Room is so reliant on outdoor space and good weather to help sustain income at the moment and as we enter into Autumn this will make operating the Tea Room challenging.
This also comes at a time when we do not have spare funds as a charity to invest in solutions to help keep business at the Tea Room going strong through the Autumn and Winter months.
Thank you to Jess for creating a Crowdfunder for the Tea Room. She wants to raise funds for an additional outdoor structure or structures, which offers additional outdoor space in weather and also achieves compliance standards onsite.
Donations will help the Tea Room to keep running at maximum capacity and continue to offer people with learning disabilities and autism the opportunity to develop skills and confidence in the future.
WELL DONE to all of our Style Acre artists. Their beautiful paintings helped raise a fantastic £390 for Style Acre! The art auction was set up to showcase the incredible artwork created by some of the people we support in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. A big thank you and well done to Mark, Marianne, Dick, Andrew and Daryl for their lovely artwork.
The inspiration and force behind the art auction was Mark, who lives in one of our supported living households. His dream of becoming an artist and selling his paintings to help raise money for Style Acre is why we ran this auction.
Mark said “painting is relaxing and is keeping my mind away from this virus. My staff is my art teacher and she is explaining to me new techniques. I got the support from all my housemates and family which are very proud of me.”
Since the pandemic started, Mark has been limited in the amount of time he can get outside. Like all of us, he was inside a lot during the lockdown. And since then, he has very gradually been able to go out for walks and activities with his housemates and support team. He has just recently been able to see his family. It has been wonderful to see Mark’s artistic talent shining through and become a way for him to stay positive at this difficult time.
Mark’s mum Monica said: “We are so proud of Mark and his artwork and so grateful to Fili (staff member) for helping him discover his talent.”
Well done and thank you Mark! And a big thank you also to Mark’s support team (particularly Fil) who are helping him to achieve his dream.