Haswell charity tackles isolation thanks to housing association grant

Nov 19, 2020 | Local News

A County Durham charity has helped people with learning disabilities, and their families, beat isolation during coronavirus thanks to support from believe housing.

Haswell Mencap has supported 50 families who faced the challenge of being alone during the pandemic. Their ‘booster bus’ project delivered activity packs direct to the homes of those that needed them in the East Durham area.

The packs provided entertainment for people with learning disabilities. They were full of hands on activities and everything needed to complete them. The packs also gave a welcome break to family members, many of who are carers 24 hours a day during the coronavirus outbreak.

A £500 grant from believe housing’s community funding programme provided the funding for materials needed to make the packs and to cover the running costs of a minibus from Haswell Mencap to deliver them.

Community Investment Team Leader at believe housing, Angela Stobbart, said: “The team at Haswell Mencap are some of the most passionate people you could meet. They care for the people they support so much.”

“They were really frustrated that they couldn’t do more during the coronavirus pandemic. So we were over the moon to help them out with this funding.”

Hayley Hood from Haswell Mencap said: “We are grateful for the financial support from believe housing. The pandemic hit us really, really hard. The team have been amazing preparing for the safe return of our services and the booster bus was a welcome addition that enabled us to visit our families in a safe way and provide much needed activities, in the interim period.”

The believe housing Coronavirus Crisis Fund has funded dozens of projects since it was launched in April. It is open to community groups or organisations, and schools that work in areas covered by believe housing. A simple application process ensures that fast turnaround funding decisions can take place and get work underway.

Projects that have benefited include food banks, help with shopping for vulnerable people and projects that help families with food.

More information on the Community Funding Programme is available on the believe housing website, or by calling the Community Investment Team on 0300 1311 999.