This winter, we are all too aware of the toll this year has taken on the health and wellbeing of the people we support.

That is why we are working harder than ever to help them to be happy and healthy through:

  1. Connecting with other people
  2. Being physically active
  3. Learning new skills
  4. Giving to others
  5. Paying attention to the present (mindfulness).

This page details some of the things we are doing to help, some of the stories of the people we support and ways in which you can help us to support the health and wellbeing of some of the most vulnerable people in society in the most difficult of times.

Percent of people with learning disability
are feeling more lonely
Percent of disabled adults are worried about the effect
of the pandemic on their lives
Percent more likely for disabled person to be worried
about their wellbeing this year than non-disabled person
Percent of disabled people are extremely concerned
about impact of shielding on mental health

How we are supporting

In our day opportunities, supported living and residential services we are taking practical steps to support people to take care of their health and wellbeing:

  • Transforming our New Forest day opportunities into a wellbeing centre focused on the mental and physical health of the people we support.
  • New handwashing stations and other Covid measures to help keep everyone healthy.
  • An increased number of outdoor sessions to harness the health benefits of being in the great outdoors.
  • A buddy system to give people someone to talk to about concerns and worries.

Find out more about the practical steps we are taking to improve health and wellbeing.

Health and wellbeing stories

Staying happy and healthy in difficult times

'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.

Julia has been a volunteer at Minstead Trust for about five years, mainly involved with fundraising and promotion in the community.

When the covid crisis hit, Julia knew she had to do something to help the Trust survive and took on a challenge to raise crucial funds.

By growing 26 different types of vegetables and flowers for harvesting, Julia raised £260 as part of the 2.6 challenge.

'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.'

It has been a brilliant year, working in the gardens.

I enjoyed cutting the pumpkins for harvest.

I have started work at Paulton’s Park in the restaurant, it’s going really brilliant. I do it Friday and Sunday and we are seeing how it goes to see if I will do more days. It is my very first paid job.

During lockdown one of the people we support lived in his home alone as his housemate had to isolate at home with his parents due to health issues.

He was very isolated and unable to do any of his normal socialising, this meant that he would use his phone to talk to friends on WhatsApp and messenger.

He sent some inappropriate messages to people which then caused concern for his own welfare.

Harvest festival: healthy eating focus

Set up a regular donation

To make a difference to our health and wellbeing

Help us improve our health and wellbeing

Donate monthly