Please Give Your Support to Local Community Projects.
The Coronavirus health pandemic we face is a once in a generation event for us all and no-one could have fully prepared for this but there are things that we can do. Now, more than ever, we need to make sure that we can continue to support people who are vulnerable and will be very badly affected by the Coronavirus outbreak.
Touchbase Care, funded using money raised by Health Lottery London East, is a project that gives people with multiple disabilities in Shepway the opportunity to take part in a range of performing arts skills workshops and to write, rehearse and perform public performances in a professional theatre setting. As well as raising awareness around the representation of people with disabilities in the performing arts, the project helps to develop participants’ self-esteem and confidence.
Due to COVID-19, the group has had to stop their regular face to face workshops and activities. The charity has adapted by moving sessions online with channels such as Zoom and Facebook Live to keep the group members connected. The weekly choir practice has been held online with more than 30 people taking part. The drumming group and arts and crafts groups have also been held online with resources posted out to the group members so that they can join in at home. The staff team have also committed to calling around each of the group members on a weekly basis to offer support and make sure that the group members feel less isolated.
Highlighting the importance of the project during Covid-19, Trish Bishop, Chief Executive at Touchbase Care said, “I have been delighted with the response from our members, staff and volunteers, who have wholeheartedly supported the temporary move to an online forum. Even though we have not been able to meet at our centre, we have created a safe space that is energetic and creative, with everyone still be able to take part.
Talking of the online activities, one group member said: “I enjoyed the drumming workshop because it's something I've not done before or even heard before, I've learnt something new. I'd really like to do it again and will try and do it most Tuesdays whilst it's online. I’m also looking forward to creative writing on Monday as I have been missing it.”
Another member added: “I’m really glad that I can still join in the singing now it’s online. It means I can even practice in my own time. Could we keep the online group going when we are allowed to go back to the centre as I’m enjoying having a place where I can talk to all my friends and join in with other activities.”
John Hume, CEO of People’s Heath Trust which distributes money through The Health Lottery said: “This is a difficult time for local people and for the local charities which do an amazing job supporting them. Some are using technology and other methods to make sure people stay connected.”.
“We desperately need to be able to keep supporting local charities and the only way we can do this is if we receive more good causes money raised through The Health Lottery. So if you’re an existing customer- thank you for continuing to support and if you’re new to this, please consider supporting local charities by playing The Health Lottery.”
Money raised by Health Lottery London East is continuing to support local projects and has raised over £8million in funds to support 272 projects to date in the region.
With the money raised through The Health Lottery, we have supported disabled young people and adults, older people, people with autism and children and adults living in poverty. All of these groups are vulnerable right now. Many have very low incomes or are on zero-hours contracts or part-time work which is drying up in this crisis.
Many of these projects are needed more than ever at the moment. Many charities are staying open to support people in need and many are moving what they do online, to make sure that people remain connected and know they are cared for.
It may feel like we are powerless at the moment, but we are not. You can help by ensuring that you continue to support these good causes so that vulnerable people can get through this very difficult period.