8 December 2020

Minstead Trust’s efforts to tackle the health and wellbeing crisis among people with learning disabilities have been given a huge boost after a record week of fundraising.

The Trust was aiming to reach its highest ever target of £12,000 as part of the Big Give Christmas Challenge 2020, a nationwide fundraising week where any donations received up to the target are automatically doubled.

Thanks to more than 100 donors and matched funds from Monday Charitable Trust, the final total was almost double this, reaching £23,957 in just seven days. The unprecedented response will help the Trust to do even more to restore the wellbeing of the people it supports in 2021, many of whom have endured months of shielding and restricted access to family and friends.

Minstead Trust supports more than 200 people with learning disabilities across Hampshire and its support workers work throughout lockdowns to help some of the most vulnerable in society.

The annual fundraising week was particularly important, with the situation for people with learning disabilities during this year making worrying reading:

  • 58% of people with learning disabilities are feeling more lonely1
  • 86% are worried about the effect of the pandemic on their lives2
  • 38% are extremely concerned about the effect of shielding on their mental health3.

Dawn Wood, Minstead Trust Director of Development, said: ‘The pandemic has affected everyone, but people with learning disabilities require support to find positive activities and to focus on ways of improving their resilience in the face of such adversity. We are so grateful to all of our supporters who are helping us to ensure that people can come to day opportunities confident that they are being kept Covid-secure, and will be able to join activities from their own homes.’

The funds raised during the Big Give week will support a shift in emphasis in the Trust’s day opportunities to provide a wellbeing centre to boost mental health, with more outdoor work spaces, personal equipment and interactive activities to boost health and wellbeing.

Online singing sessions are also planned with River Studios, with places available now for people with learning disabilities.

Minstead Trust is still accepting Christmas donations at www.minsteadtrust.org.uk/donate

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1 and 2: ONS, Coronavirus and the social impacts on disabled people in Great Britain: May 2020

3: Scottish Commission for Learning survey

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