Innovate Trust have been working to keep people with learning disabilities safe during the current pandemic.
Most of the people they support have been staying at home for their own protection and have instead engaged in online activities to replicate those they would normally do in the community. This has been an enlightening experience and they have gained a lot of experience and knowledge in how to use technology to support people with learning disabilities.
What have they been doing?
The venture into using online activities started when they created a social media app to create a private sharing environment for individuals to post photos and messages to and from their families and social care professionals.
As the pandemic developed the app grew to run a full range of online activities. During the first lockdown, 300 devices were given to the people they support, to enable them to engage in these online activities.
The aim was to ensure that no person with learning disabilities is left feeling lonely and isolated during these difficult times. This remains to be their goal and they currently have 732 members. In addition, 40 other organisations are now involved to share activities.
What activities are on offer?
At present , Innovate Trust are running 55 live activities for anyone with learning disabilities and associated groups, these are available free of charge across 19 counties in Wales.
The activities include:
- learn Welsh through song
- quiz club
- street dance
- guitar and ukulele sessions
- sing along
- taking part groups
- drama and well-being group
- workout sessions
- Tai Chi
- sing and sign
- music therapy
- arts and crafts.
It is impressive how people have increased their confidence and digital skills to the point that some are now leading several online activities on the Insight app.
It has also meant that they have been able to engage people who found it difficult to access activities based in the community. As a result, they have been able to make new friends and stay connected with their families.
How to get involved
Innovate Trust are keen to have as many people with learning disabilities involved with our activities and they welcome membership from people from across all of Wales. If you know of any isolated individual who you think could benefit, then please signpost them to Innovate Trust and the Insight App.
We have gathered together useful resources about Coronavirus (COVID-19), including some good easy read guides for people with a learning disability in Wales.