Dimensions - Staying In Touch
What was your response to Covid-19?
The aim of Staying in Touch (STT) was to connect people and create friendships via shared knowledge and interests so that people weren’t isolated by lockdown.
The STT sent a survey to the people we support to identify popular activities and subject matter experts who might act as hosts. They worked with the marketing team to create an easy read accessible website. Activities ranged from Arts to Bingo, Friendship, TV and Film, Music and a soccer discussion group.
People signed up for the clubs. Each session is hosted by a person with lived experience, who we support or employ. Clubs are facilitated by the involvement and engagement team and volunteers from Business Support staff building stronger relationships.
*Mark Brookes and Jordan Smith Dimensions Advocacy leads, Dimensions Council members and the Involvement team created the SIT project group.
What was different about this approach?
New skills were learned by support workers and the people we support. The whole project is peer organised, run by people with lived experience of learning disability and autism.
What is the impact and benefit for people?
A five-week computing class resulted in a very proud son sending an email to his mother, who was delighted to receive it. He then joked it was probably the first thing he’d written that she’d been able to read!
Dimensions has seen huge boosts in confidence, no one is side-lined and everyone is an enthusiastic participant.
The project has given people independence, the majority of people who attend would normally require lots of support, however with Staying In Touch they have gained lots of independence and are leading the project and developing it further: In the Art club one participant uses Makaton and BSL, and he has now taught the group some basics.
Is the solution sustainable post-Covid?
Yes, Dimensions are continuing the project. They are currently looking for volunteers to help facilitate so they can expand the schedule and variety of activities on offer.
How can I find out more?
Charlie.email@example.com, Marketing Assistant, Dimensions