After the trauma of lockdowns, many people with learning disabilities are still feeling isolated and lost.

The £47,070 raised in the 2021 Big Give will help them recover from the mental trauma of the pandemic and rebuild their confidence to get out into their community with friends.

You will have a huge impact for people with learning disabilities and help make this their time to thrive. Read their stories to discover the impact you will have.


You are helping us to…

  1. Re-establish our drop in community groups to offer advice and friendship for people with learning disabilities.
  2. Give more support to people wanting to attend social activities and follow their passions.
  3. Set up a welfare fund to cover the cost of social activities and holidays.
  4. Recruit volunteer and staff buddies to accompany people out and about in their communities.
  5. Offer courses for people to rebuild the skills they need to feel comfortable with others.

Check back to this hub page in the coming months as we add updates on how the fundraising is making a difference.

Our community stories

People we support tell their stories of community isolation and their hopes for the future.

'I used to really enjoy going to a community group on a Friday afternoon before Covid arrived.

'We used to learn to cook hot meals like lasagne as well as treats like cakes and pancakes. I learnt skills that I could then use to cook more at home.

'Even though lots of things are back to normal I’m still missing the community group.'

It has been a seismic 18 months for all of us as we learnt to cope with the Covid pandemic.

For people with learning disabilities the worry, stress and change to their routine has been enormously difficult, often leaving them lonely and confused.

We caught up with Phil, Silas, Ed and David – people we support in the New Forest – to ask them what they have missed during the pandemic and how it has affected them.

'I have worked at the John Pounds Centre in Portsmouth for 15 years, helping out, doing the bins and litter picking.

I couldn't do it during the lockdowns and it made me feel very isolated from friends and family. I am still not able to do it. I love the job as I get to meet new people and the staff are great to work wit

'I didn't like being stuck at home in the lockdowns, it was so bad.

The joy of being a buddy

Volunteer Lesley Wallis is a buddy to Jason, who lives in our residential property at Minstead Lodge, and helps him to make more of his life out in the community.

Lesley says: ‘The opportunities being a buddy has offered me over the last few years have helped me immensely; expanding my skill set and confidence in situations I would not normally encounter and interacting with the people Minstead Trust supports (my favourite way to spend time!)’

Income from the Big Give will help us train more fantastic volunteers like Lesley to help people with learning disabilities get out into their communities.

Read the full story

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