After the very difficult experiences of 2020, vulnerable people with learning disabilities like Janet need a fresh start.

To help restore their wellbeing in 2021, we are taking part in the Big Give Christmas Challenge. Donations made via the Big Give will be doubled during the week of 1 to 8 December.

This means your donations go even further and can help us reach our target of £12,000. Hitting this target will help us do more to support people to come to terms with their trauma, reset aspirations in life, and restore wellbeing in 2021.

Look out for more on our social media pages during the appeal week and remember that only donations made through the Big Give website will be doubled.

Donate here from midday on 1 December

Lockdown left vulnerable people confused and traumatised. Recovery has been slow from isolation, with poor mental health and wellbeing.

Our day opportunities work spaces are not now all fit for purpose, largely due to furniture which doesn’t allow social distancing. We do not have sufficient equipment and materials for single person usage. More staff support is required to develop mental health and wellbeing programmes and provide more individual attention to support people to stay safe.

To make 2021 a fresh start for everyone, we have to adapt for safe small group work at our venues, and provide focused support from home.

Our New Forest site will become a Wellbeing Centre, with covered outdoor workspaces, refurbished rooms, furnished and equipped for activities accommodating social distance and improving wellbeing. Increased staffing and training will provide focused support to meet more individual needs both on site and from the home. In Portsmouth we are introducing more exercise sessions to replace fitness activities that are not currently possible like swimming.

Only with your help during the Big Give Christmas Challenge can we make these changes happen.

Stories of a difficult year

Hear from some of the people who you can help to support

'I’ve found it very challenging with the coronavirus.

'I felt sad during lockdown initially. I couldn’t go out for lunch at the weekend, I couldn’t see my friends and family.

'I was sad not to have Easter with my family at home. I’ve been feeling anxious and sad about it all.

'I have found my time at Furzey therapeutic. I like potting, pricking out and collecting and sowing the seeds.'

'I found lockdown really stressful, couldn't get out and about as I can't walk far with my disability.

'I really missed going to Minstead. I was over the moon when I could come back!

'I come here because I enjoy it and I meet a lot of people - new people.

'I'm outgoing and I like doing arts and crafts, a bit of sewing now and again when I can with my arthritis.

'It makes me feel happy to come here - really happy!'

The impact of Covid19 has elevated stress and fear levels for many of the people we support.

For one person this has made her more anxious and has affected every aspect of her day to day living.

She has struggled, with loneliness, unable to cope or express her emotions and she has felt very isolated.

During quarantine, she has found it difficult not having a normal routine or being able to attend her day services.

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