Cardiff People First successfully applied for a grant from The National Lottery Community Fund to keep in touch with people with a learning disability in Cardiff, who are socially isolated as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
People with a learning disability are more likely to be lonely and isolated, and lockdown has made this worse. Some are very high risk and have been shielding. Cardiff People First will be using a grant of £7,780 which is made possible by National Lottery players, to make sure that all people with a learning disability in Cardiff have a chance to talk with one of their peers about any issues they have. This will let them make real friends outside family and paid workers; and to take part in local community activities online, or safely in person when those activities are available again.
The idea of phoning people once a week started as an emergency response to lockdown. All front-line staff have a learning disability, they report that this peer relationship means they know and are trusted by the people they work with.
They also run seven online meetings a week based around people who live in the same geographical area, and a virtual meeting once a week for everyone from across Cardiff, as well as one-off events online. The meetings have proved extremely popular, and the people attending have told them they want to keep meeting in this way.
Frontline worker Joanna Jones says:
“We were Breaking the Barriers. There should be no barriers in modern 21st century society. But they are there. Everyone is unique. People with and without a learning disability are equally human.”
Gareth Williams, Funding Manager for The National Lottery Community Fund said
“It’s clear that Cardiff People First have been flexible and are offering peer to peer support which is really valued by people with a learning disability across Cardiff. National Lottery players raise £30 million each week for good causes throughout the UK and this grant is just one of many we have given to amazing groups across Wales.”