When the strict social distancing measures were put in place last month, we had to close our day services to protect the people we support from contracting coronavirus. Since then, our incredible support workers have been working tirelessly to provide ‘activities on wheels’, making sure everyday life remains as normal – and fun – as possible for our day service members.
Our day services provide vital support to members of the community with learning disabilities and autism. From shopping and cooking sessions to sports and gardening, we run a full programme! We spoke to On Track activities coordinator, Danielle Styles, about how our Hampshire day services have been thinking creatively to provide the best support for their members during lockdown.
“When lockdown first happened and we had to close our day services, we did think ‘what are staff going to do to keep making a difference’ It is important now more than ever to keep a sense of normality in the lives of people we support, so we have been looking at how we can support them at home, especially while they are so isolated from all their usual activities. The only way we could do this, was by delivering the day service activities to them – like an activities on wheels service! We have been taking them puzzles and games, going out for walks, sewing, baking – all the activities we would have normally been doing at our day service.
“We want to help them get through this difficult time, the activities we are providing are beneficial for their mental health.”
“One member, Daniel, absolutely loves art, so we made sure we dropped off some art supplies to his home so he could continue to do what he loves during self isolation.
“We have been phoning the people we support who are most vulnerable to check in and see if they are okay and bringing them groceries if they need them. One of the highlights for me has been taking everyone Easter eggs on Easter Sunday. Tesco reserved the eggs for us and I went to pick them up and it was so lovely to see how pleased everyone was to get one!”
On Track staff have been receiving great feedback from the community, and they have even been nominated for this year’s Petersfield Awards by Daniel’s brother, Noah.
Noah said: “Through this current situation of Covid-19 we are seeing so many amazing people and companies stepping up and supporting the community of Petersfield. There are some superheroes that don’t wear uniforms or capes.
“The FitzRoy On Track team have been going out of their way every day, making sure their services users have had the opportunity to access some kind of normal routine. Let’s make the amazing staff at On Track win an award at The Petersfield Awards 2020 for the amazing work they are doing every day by supporting the community and people who have a disability or additional needs.”
Danielle added: “The staff have been absolutely brilliant since lockdown, they have taken it in their stride. You really do see people pulling together throughout this and it certainly makes me proud to work for FitzRoy. It also makes me realise how much the rest of my team makes my job so special – we’re like a family. Everybody is going above and beyond to help out the people we support.”
Help Us To Continue Our Work During The Coronavirus Crisis