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

Parents set up online interactive club for people with learning disabilities

Two parents of young adult daughters with varying needs have set up The Willow Tree Club, which provides online interactive activities for people with learning disabilities.

Sarah and Carol’s daughters, who are currently 25 and 30 years old, left education without the prospect of being able to get paid work. With volunteering work reducing due to Covid-19, they wanted to fill their children’s days with something that is rewarding and as fulfilling as possible.

We had to quickly adapt in response to Covid-19 

Carol said: “We have worked together for the past 15 years having created a charity called Waggy Tails Club which helps young people with disabilities. This charity has had to quickly adapt in response to Covid-19 as we needed to find an alternative solution for your lovely young members who need some form of social interaction. We set up Zoom sessions online for them and we still meet every week.

“This is how The Willow Tree Club came into being. We wanted to create fun, enriching activities led by caring tutors who could pitch classes at the right level. Activities would be varied so you could learn, create, be social or get active – the choice is yours. We continue to develop classes all the time by listening to what our amazing community want in their lives.”

She added that the Club is not seeking to replace returning to the wider world, but the times when outside activities may not be available or perhaps suitable, and they can bring a little bit of that interaction and learning new skills experience to the security of home. 

The sessions include art, dance, music, signing songs, and cooking. All are designed to be as inclusive as possible with experienced leaders and activities can be accessed from the Willow Tree Club site

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