Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

Government to give £2.4 million fund to disability charities

Following the success of a £1.2 million fund given to disability charities in July 2020, the government has decided to extend their support this year with an extra £2.4 million.

The money will be given to 13 charities who help physically disabled people and those with a learning disability. The funding hopes to help thousands of disabled children who have suffered as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Various schemes will benefit from the cash boost. Predominantly, the money will go towards providing practical support for disabled children, setting up and expanding helplines, supporting advocacy and providing mental health and wellbeing support for both staff and disabled people.

The Department of Health and Social Care hopes the funding will improve the physical and mental wellbeing of those with a disability.

Wellbeing kits to disabled children and adults

Minister for Care, Helen Whately said: “I know this last year has been a particularly difficult time for disabled people, autistic people and those with a learning disability.

“Covid-19 is having a disproportionate impact on them and we are doubling our investment in this fund to ensure people of all ages receive advice and support. It will help vital charities offer projects which are improving the physical and mental wellbeing of thousands every day.”

The extra funding comes as a result of the huge success of the £1.2 million fund given last summer, which had a significant positive impact on disabled people, as well as their families and carers.

One of the projects run through the charity Sense has provided over 1,000 arts, sports and wellbeing kits to disabled children, families and adults to help support them through the pandemic.

Leonard Cheshire has supported 1,700 young disabled people since April 2020, delivering over 200 virtual sessions to combat loneliness. These sessions ensured regular engagement and prevented any break in routine which can exacerbate existing anxiety and mental health issues.

Anne Brook, Director of Family Support at Contact said: “The funding from DHSC has been invaluable. It’s meant we’ve been able to increase the capacity of our national helpline during the crisis and purchase digital equipment for staff to continue working with families facing immense challenges as they care for children struggling with changes to their routine, increased anxiety and challenging behaviour.

“Importantly, this funding has enabled Contact to be more innovative and reach out to more families in brand new ways. For example, we set up our successful Listening Ear phone service for parents who, at a time that suits them, can talk to us and get advice about coping with the emotional consequences of caring throughout the pandemic.

“In short the funding has helped Contact continue to be there for families with disabled children throughout the pandemic when they’ve needed our trusted support, advice and information more than ever before.”

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