13 November 2020

Minstead Trust is able to start looking forward to the future with more confidence after receiving generous grants to help it survive the pandemic crisis.

The Trust supports more than 200 people with learning disabilities across Hampshire and, like many other charities, has had a hugely difficult year as it battled to cope with the effects of Covid-19.

The charity’s social businesses had to close in lockdown, costing it hundreds of thousands of pounds in income, and PPE and increased social distancing costs have proven hugely expensive.

Now, thanks to grants of almost £80,000 from The Julia and Hans Rausing Trust, and £145,000 from the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, the charity can start to put some of the financial uncertainty behind it.

The Julia and Hans Rausing Trust is a charitable fund supporting organisations and initiatives that provide benefit to society in the UK. This summer the Trust has supported more than 300 UK charities with funding totaling £18 million as part of their Charity Survival Fund.

The Coronavirus Community Support Fund is administered by The National Lottery Community Fund and is provided thanks to the Government.

The grants are to be used as resilience funding, building up Minstead Trust’s depleted reserves to a level closer to pre-pandemic levels. This will ensure it is more able to cope with future crises and provide much-needed stability for the vulnerable people it supports.

As a result, Minstead Trust is now able to set out on a road to recovery, and continues to look for support to introduce new programmes designed to improve the health and wellbeing of people with learning disabilities through this pandemic.

This year has been particularly difficult for people with learning disabilities, who are more likely to feel anxious and isolated by the pandemic than those without a learning disability. This has already caused great distress to individuals and their families.

So the Trust is pioneering a range of initiatives to help mental and physical health, including providing wellbeing buddies within services, developing and supporting people to attend virtual groups as well as re-focusing its day opportunities as health and wellbeing centres with more outdoor sessions for Covid safety.

These new initiatives will once again draw on the ongoing support of the communities around Minstead Trust to help meet these needs. The Trust is indebted to its supporters for their help so far and hope that they will be able to travel the road to recovery together.

Madeleine Durie, Minstead Trust Chief Executive, said: ‘We are extremely grateful to the Julia and Hans Rausing Foundation and the National Lottery Community Fund for recognising that during this pandemic, charities like ours have urgent needs to meet daily costs but also need to build back the reserves that we had to draw on heavily in the spring. Their generosity has helped us to focus on the next stage of our work.

‘We are relieved that Minstead Trust can now turn our attention to focus on addressing the impact of the pandemic on the people we are supporting and find ways to do more to help them to build up their own resilience in the face of further lockdowns, uncertainty and isolation.’

Find out more about Minstead Trust’s work to support the health and wellbeing of people with learning disabilities.

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