Learning disability charity’s support group goes virtual amid Covid-19 lockdown
PUBLISHED: 12:47 08 June 2020 | UPDATED: 12:47 08 June 2020
An east Cambs learning disability charity has turned their regular support group digital in a bid to continue their services during the coronavirus pandemic.
Littleport-based Branching Out provides vital support for people with learning disabilities in the region and wanted to continue their hard work during lockdown.
Making the most of technology and social media, they launched ‘Branching Out @ Home’ to reach their regulars safely with virtual drop-ins.
The team has been busy uploading video content such as games, learning resources, and bringing together exercise routines amongst many more.
Rachel Wiggans, proactive support team manager, says the online group is already going really well and has proved a hit with their members.
She said: “We know how important Branching Out is to those who attend, and we have been working to do everything we can to bring Branching Out to their homes.
“We have had virtual Birthday celebrations, pub quiz’s, bingo, and lots more.”
As well as running the online group, they have running doing regular welfare calls and posting activity packs to keep everyone entertained
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Ms Wiggans added: “Everyone at Branching Out was devastated that we had to temporarily close while everyone self-isolated.
“We have used the opportunity to provide a service that is available 24/7 online for everyone who attends to keep in contact with their friends at Branching Out.
“This is so important given the current ongoing situation.
“We are looking at the possibilities of developing this longer term but to do this we need to improve our IT equipment.
“We are fundraising for a new laptop and video camera so we can provide even more support to some of the most vulnerable in our community.
“Our IT equipment is really old and it not up to the job. We are being limited on how much and the quality of our support due to our IT.
“We need to purchase new laptops with the ability to edit videos and video recording equipment.”
Branching Out is a charity for adults with learning disabilities that provided over 25,000 hours of support to adults with learning disabilities over the last year.
They have already raised £280 of their £5,000 target needed for the new equipment, to donate visit: www.justgiving.com/campaign/branchingoutathome
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