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Charity launches crisis appeal

Posted onPosted on 16th Apr

A charity supporting people with learning disabilities has launched a crisis appeal.

Reach Learning Disability, which has a centre in Mansfield as well as bases in Southwell and Newark, said many of its income streams were uncertain or had stopped because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The appeal — called ‘We can’t do this alone’ — aims to raise £10,000,

Reach chief executive Steve Shatwell said: “Despite our commitment to our clients and our staff, there is no hiding the reality of an unpredictable financial environment and possible consequences for our charity.

“Any donation, no matter how large or small, will make a huge difference to local people, enabling people with learning disabilities and their family carers to cope in the weeks and months to come and help ensure we are here for them in the future.”

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Reach has thanked its “wonderful staff, trustees, volunteers and the community for their continued commitment and support.”

Despite the temporary closure of its centre in Mansfield, staff at Reach are staying positive and working tirelessly to support local people with learning disabilities to stay safe, well and connected.

Reach Mansfield ordinarily welcomes 33 clients a week to a busy schedule of activities like cookery, computing, dance sessions, art classes and other programmes designed to promote fitness and support healthy choices.

The team has quickly responded to the crisis and developed new ways to provide practical support and offer online activities, helping clients to learn new digital skills and get online safely.

In one week in April staff across Reach delivered 175 ‘wellbeing packages’ and made 189 welfare telephone calls to people with learning disabilities and their families, some of whom are feeling anxious and traumatised by the loss of their social contacts and routine.

One parent, Gill, said: “We were really pleased to receive the activity pack. We have set up a routine for Joanna, which the pack has really helped with.

“Every day we are using the online resources, provided by Reach, which are proving very positive for Joanna’s literacy skills and for keeping her busy.”