It is 12 months since the whole of the country entered the very first Lockdown due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a situation no-one had ever experienced before – and something we hope we will never see again.
In this series of real short stories, we hear from ordinary Wirral people about events that affected them this past year.
Paul from local charity, Autism Together, explains how his organisation prepared for and adapted to meet new challenges. The image shows just some of the donations received by the charity in the last 12 months:
“We had been planning for the eventuality of a lockdown since the pandemic reached UK shores so by March 2020 we were ready to take steps to help keep the people we support and our keyworkers safe and well.
“We set up a small shop for essential goods, so that staff and people we support did not have to go further afield. We also delivered food, PPE and essential items to our services to limit the amount of people moving around the organisation. We got fantastic support from the local community, with pubs, restaurants, and businesses donating goods.
“Not being able to go to their favourite places was potentially challenging and difficult for the people we support. But with the help of our staff, they coped extremely well. Some also struggled with staff wearing masks and other PPE, but with understanding and communication, they are now used to and able to tolerate these changes.”
Autism Together has been providing support to people with autism for more than 50 years, offering a wide range of residential services, supported living, day services and community support from our base in Bromborough.
Quite quickly, their focus had to change to helping people enjoy activities in their homes. Some day service staff ran online competitions and groups. They even had their own online PE teacher, and many enjoyed the chance to try baking and gardening, even achieving certificates for the skills they had learnt.
“Our staff really did go above and beyond to keep people in our services safe, well, calm and engaged, while looking after their own mental health. They are a true credit to us.”
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