WEST Essex based disability charity Accuro (Care Services), like many other organisations, had to cancel all clubs and face to face services when government restrictions were announced. The charity supports many children and adults with disabilities across West Essex with weekend and after school clubs, holiday clubs and an Adult Friendship Scheme and overnight, all upcoming plans had to be put on hold.
The Charity sprang into action immediately though, providing virtual services and events.
Accuro’s Community Fundraiser Chloe Salisbury said, “Small charities like ours have been hit hard in recent weeks, not only from a fundraising point of view, but for our members too. We knew we couldn’t just do nothing. Moving our member services and fundraising events online was brand new to all of us, but it was a move we absolutely had to make to continue supporting our Accuro family.”
Accuro have been providing video calls and phone calls to members both individually in groups.
Harlow ‘Cool Connections’ Club Coordinator Maria Flynn said, “We really miss our members, and we are very proud of them all, for how well they are coping during this difficult time.”
Maria added, “We aim to reduce social isolation for people with disabilities, so we are so lucky to be able to keep in touch with our club members online. We have 4 group meetings every week, where we catch up, chat , and play some fun games. We have also been doing a quiz with some of our groups – it’s really lovely that everyone gets involved – sometimes parents join in as well!”
The charity have set up a private facebook group for members and their families to connect with the staff and with one another. Regular activites for children and adults to get involved with are shared to the group and members post photos and videos for their friends and fellow club members to see.
Maria commented, “Our clubs run in several different areas across West Essex and we have managed to put groups from different clubs together on Zoom calls, meaning our members are getting to know new people and making friends they perhaps wouldn’t have had clubs been going on as normal. As staff, I personally am loving getting to know some of the young pe eople from other clubs, who I hadn’t met before and maybe wouldn’t have otherwise. I would like to say thank you to everyone for staying connected and being part of what now feels like one big extended Accuro family”
Accuro have had praise about the way the situation has been handled from both members of the clubs and their families.
One parent commented, “I’m very impressed with the way this has been handled and was quite surprised that you’ve done so much for our families.”, while another commented that the situation has been a ‘struggle’ and that Accuro’s virtual services have been ‘a godsend’.
For more information on Accuro, please visit www.accuro.org.uk
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