The country may be in lockdown because of the coronavirus, but our clients, their families and the wider community still need support.

At Harrow Mencap we have been working hard to give people quality support that meets their needs while keeping to the government’s coronavirus guidelines.

Here are just a few examples of what we have been doing to deliver that support.

How our services are supporting clients and families

Home visits

Our service teams including our Harrow and Pinner Green Activity Centres, Cedars and Skill Up have been visiting clients at home to check in on and offer support where necessary.

Outdoor exercise and activities

Our staff have also been taking clients out for walks and exercise activities.

Remote skill development activities

We have been setting clients skill-building tasks such as cooking to do at home to help them continue with their personal and professional development.

What our Advocacy 1st team are doing

Offering remote support

Our Advocacy team have been working hard to support people from home.

What our Engagement team are doing

Our Engagement team have been finding a variety of ways to support our self-advocate group and carers.

The team are running regular live video meetings offering various activities for self-advocates and other people with a learning disability including chat, quiz and sing along sessions. The sessions have also included guest speakers such from organisations such as Green Peace UK.

The team are also offering live mindfulness video sessions for carers.

If you would like to take part in these activities, please contact Jordan Creed on 020 8869 8484 / 07496494379 or email [email protected] for more information.

Our Engagement staff have also supported people in other ways. For example, our self-advocate Tim was feeling bored and isolated because of the lockdown. So we managed to get hold of a DVD player for him to make sure he could stay entertained.

How we are supporting the wider community

Delivering free hot meals

We are teaming up with the Breaking Bread Trust and Taste of Lahore to deliver cooked meals to people who are at risk or vulnerable in the community.

We have been delivering hot meals to 50 people three days a week. 

For more on this story, please click here.

If you would like to be considered for a free hot meal to be delivered to you regularly, or are able to volunteer for delivering these meals please call Dipti Singh on 020 3948 0533 or email her on [email protected] for more information.

Connecting Communities activity phone-in events

Our Connecting Communities team have been stopping social isolation during the coronavirus lockdown.

Connecting Communities have been running their regular events through telephone conference calls.

The team reached out to over 50 people in the first 2 weeks alone.

Sessions have helped clients and volunteers to keep in touch and even re-connect with friends who now live in residential care and others who have moved away.

Sessions have included discussions with local councillors, quizzes, musical performances, informative talks and casual chats.

  

We have even made new partnerships to ensure a more varied programme of entertainment. We have enjoyed establishing a relationship with the musical theatre company Drama Spectrum.

Drama Spectrum teachers Ellie, James and Lindsey have been performing a variety of show tunes during our sessions.

Ellie who trained in musical theatre at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland said:

It’s been a pleasure for us to sing for Harrow Mencap. I have a lot of experience with inclusive theatre activities, and find it encouraging to support charities who share these values.

Drama Spectrum have also sent us a special performance video below for everyone to enjoy:

Connecting Communities have also been delighted to welcome former colleagues and volunteers who no longer live locally or who now live in residential care during their phone-ins. 

For example, the team enjoyed catching up with our former fundraiser Emma Foss who has moved to Norfolk.

Our Connecting Communities team received some great feedback:

If you have not yet taken part in our Connecting Communities phone-in events and would like to, please contact Jeremy Child on 07734 955115 or [email protected]

Digital activity, information and advice materials

Active at Home video series

We have been producing an "Active at Home" tutorial video series for clients
and families to enjoy while social distancing.

The videos include activities such as gardening, cooking and arts and crafts.

To find all our videos, please click here.

Easy read guides and information

We have been producing easy read information sheets for clients and families to use at home.

The sheets include information on subjects such as:

  • Films to watch on Netflix.
  • How to use YouTube.
  • Looking after your mental health at home.
  • The government's guidelines on the coronavirus.

You can find these sheets on our website by clicking here.