A charity providing a vital lifeline to hundreds of disabled people during the Covid-19 pandemic is appealing for donations so it can continue its work.
Disability Solutions West Midlands is supporting 1,400 people with disabilities or life-limiting conditions in North Staffordshire throughout the lockdown, including many who are shielding or self-isolating at home.
The Hartshill-based charity has seen increased demand for its services during the crisis, and it is now working to provide its clients with everything from mobile phones and white goods to medical equipment such as hearing aids.
Disability Solutions has now launched a fund-raising appeal to help it to provide this support for as long as it is needed.
Chief executive Mandy Rollins is also keen to promote the work that the charity does, to ensure that vulnerable people know help is available.
She said: “We have continued to provide services all the way through Covid-19. We actually moved to remote working before it become a popular thing.
“We’ve remained open and remained in contact with all our our clients, around 1,400 across North Staffordshire. We’ve called them to make sure their needs are being met.
“When we started to do that, we were finding that a lot of people were really struggling, in all sorts of ways. We had one lady who has lost her hearing aid, and so she wasn’t able to hear. We were able to help her with that.
“In another case, we were alerted to a young child who needed to be discharged from hospital, but they couldn’t because the family needed a SATs machine at home. We looked to pull together some funding for that, so that he could be discharged.
“And there was another lady with mental health issues who had been trying to pay off her rent arrears.”
During the crisis, the charity has changed the way it works, reducing face-to-face contacts in favour of phone and email.
Ms Rollins said her staff, many of whom have disabilities themselves, have gone ‘the extra mile’ during the lockdown.
But like many smaller charities, Disability Solutions has struggled to access funding during the pandemic, with most grant schemes aimed primarily at larger organisations.
Ms Rollins added: “So if people are looking to support a smaller charity, we would really appreciate any help we can get.
“We do have reserves which we are dipping into during the crisis to support our clients, but if people are able to donate we will be able to do even more.
“We are mindful of the fact that this situation isn’t going to go away soon, and we could see the impact of Covid-19 for many more months.”
You can donate to the Disability Solutions appeal here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/disability-solutions-covid-19-support. To find out more about Disability Solutions’ work, visit https://disabilitysolutions.org.uk/
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