While our day opportunities have had to temporarily close due to Covid-19 all the teams have adapted to ensure they stay connected with the people they support and their communities; creating innovative ways of supporting from afar and keeping everything ticking over throughout lockdown.
Oak Farm were presented with a really unique challenge over lockdown as farm life never stops! Along with keeping in contact with the people we support there were also animals to look after and plants to tend. The staff have adapted so well to these new challenges and have managed to keep the farm going with fewer hands there to help.
Staff at the farm have been having regular phone calls with the people they support and have managed to make some visits with surprise deliveries. They have set a challenge to the workers to see who can grow the biggest tomato and we are all really excited to see the results. It has also been great to get updates from everyone showing how they are using some of the skills they have learned at the farm at home during lockdown; from baking to gardening & some DIY projects.
Oak Farm, like all of our day opportunities, have taken to using Facebook to keep in touch with the people they support & their families, as well as the wider community, including picture and video updates. The team have also been supporting the people they support to keep in touch with each other during lockdown!
The staff have been keeping connected to the community by setting up a produce stall with an honesty box to allow locals to buy various veg, herbs and plants that cannot be sold in the shop as normal! This has been a great way to help the community while bringing in some donations as unfortunately, due to the pandemic, Oak Fest has been postponed until 2021.
Innage Lane has also changed the way they work; while the people they support cannot visit the service at the moment Tracy & the team has not let that stop them getting everyone involved in projects.
When lockdown began the team got to work making individually tailored activity packs using resources online that were delivered to the people we support. Innage also received donations from people within the community, including the newly appointed Bridgnorth Mayor, Kirstie Hurst-Knight! This has enabled the team to create a variety of activities for the people they support, & even provide them all with afternoon tea as a lockdown treat! Although Lockdown birthdays can be difficult the team at Innage worked with a local café to arrange a take away birthday meal for a person they support!
Along with the visits to drop off activity packs the team have been calling the people they support, parents & carers regularly to offer support. They have also been using technology to keep in contact including a virtual quiz & craft demo with recycled materials that most people would have access to at home! The team have also been shopping for older parents and the people they support who are having to shield, this includes picking up prescriptions & shopping online for parents and people they support who do not use the internet. Staff visits have enabled the people they support to go on daily walks if they choose.
There has been lots of work behind the scenes too, including donations of items they no longer need to the community and building & garden maintenance. The team have also been a massive help to the rest of Bethphage by picking up & delivering PPE for our other services & assisting the Shared Lives team through picking up & dropping off paperwork with the carers & officers.
Innage Lane would like to thank the follow people for donations:
- Sara Rowley
- Sylvia Ann-Quinn
- Kirstie Hurst-Knight
- Kizzy Moss
- Lizzy Pollard (The Looking Glass, Bridgnorth)
While Our Space & the library have not been open to the public the team have been hard at work trying to reach the community & the people they support over lockdown. Along with regular contact with the people they support, Our Space have really adapted to digital over lockdown; sharing resources, hosting quizzes on Facebook, doing check in videos and have even started some virtual events over Zoom.
One of their popular events is “Baking with Janet”, where our very own Janet hosts a bake along over Zoom. Scones, oat & chocolate chip cookies and lemon drizzle have been on the menu so far & the results look brilliant!
Another event that has been happening is “Our Space Presents- Bed Time Stories”, many in Ellesmere use the library to get books for themselves and their children, not wanting children to miss out on their favorite stories, the Our Space & Library team have started reading stories in an interactive Facebook event! The team have also annouced that they will be releasing some more videos soon on their very own Youtube channel!
We would also like to say a big thank you to the staff members at Our Space who worked throughout lockdown to provide support in our supported living services!
It has been wonderful to see the way all of our day opportunities have adapted so well to lockdown, we would like to thank all of our brilliant staff members for their hard work. We hope their doors will be able to open again soon!