Investment supports people with disabilities to be active

Date: 3 February 2021   Author: Energise Me

The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on everyone. But especially for people with disabilities. Here’s the story of how our Investing in Communities project has helped Enham Trust support some of the most vulnerable people to stay active this year.

Enham Trust members playing parachute games

Enham Trust

Enham Trust is a disability charity based in Hampshire. They support disabled people to live, work and enjoy life to the full, as independently as possible. Some of these people live in residential care, and some live independently, in their own homes.

Disabled people are twice as likely as non-disable people to be inactive. And the challenges of the pandemic has meant that many charities and groups have had to adapt their services.

 

Feeling ‘forgotten’

Lots of disabled people have described feeling forgotten, as they are forced to shield. They are having to live with reduced support, and are sometimes too frightened to go outside for days at a time. The Investing in Communities project meant that Enham Trust could apply for funding to help them put on more activities for the people they support. Being active helps with mental wellbeing, confidence, and strength and mobility.

 

Dan’s story

Dan has Cerebral Palsy and lives in Michael House, one of Enham Trust’s care homes. Before the pandemic, Dan enjoyed a very active lifestyle. He played Boccia and enjoyed gardening. He also received crucial physiotherapy, helping him to improve his strength and mobility. When coronavirus put a stop to his usual routine, he became increasingly worried about spending days alone in isolation without access to these vital sources of physical activity.

The Investing in Communities funding allowed Enham Trust to offer Boccia, skittles, indoor tennis, physiotherapy sessions, and socially distanced walks around the site.

Thanks to the physiotherapy sessions he has received, Dan has made excellent progress, and is now able to walk for extended distances with the support of a walking frame.

 

Strengthening Communities

As well as helping individuals, this funding has meant that Enham Trust have been able to create stronger communities in their care homes. People who did not access physical activities before the pandemic have joined in! There are new connections, and new friendships forming. One activity coordinator said, “We have seen an incredible sense of team spirit and healthy competition! This has really helped lift everyone’s spirits during a tricky time.”

This activity project has not only maintained, but strengthened the physical and mental wellbeing of many of Enham Trust’s residents.

Enham Trust member Ed completing his cycling challenge

 

Ed’s challenge

Ed is a resident on one of Enham Trust’s care homes, and has been using the accessible bike. By improving his strength, he is now able to complete standing transfers throughout the day, instead of being hoisted.

Ed set himself a challenge to cycle 50km during September, with tailored support from one of the activity coordinators. Before the challenge began, Ed was struggling with his mental health, but small, daily goals really helped to keep him motivated and positive which lead to improvements in his mood. Ed achieved his goal and raised £828 to support Enham Trust in the process. He already has his sights set on his next challenge, and has inspired many other residents to get active and embark on their own challenges!

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