Hi, I’m Louise. I’m a Team Leader at Parents Connect, Scope’s family support service. I’ve seen first-hand the difference your donations are making. It’s thanks to you Scope’s been able to adapt our services so we can give disabled people and their families the support they so urgently need.
An unequal pandemic
The coronavirus crisis is having a disproportionate impact on the wellbeing of disabled people. Families tell me that they’re feeling left behind, lonely, overwhelmed with anxiety. And that isn’t going to change, even as lockdown is being eased. For the millions of disabled people at greater risk, there’s still so much to feel anxious about.
Two thirds of people who have died because of coronavirus were disabled, so it’s no surprise that the worry is all-consuming.
Changing the way our services run
When the pandemic first hit, demand for our services soared across the UK. At Parents Connect, we normally meet with families from the local area face-to-face. But with your support, we were quick to adapt and expand. Now we offer online sessions to parents from all parts of the country.
Reacting to higher demand
During lockdown, Parents Connect has supported six times more families than usual. Every day, mums and dads are getting in touch, often in floods of tears, saying they have no where else to turn. They feel cut off. They’re at breaking point.
When the mum of a disabled child tells me that she feels overwhelmed by all the uncertainty, or a dad says that he’s struggling because he hasn’t left the house in months, I can truly say that I understand. I’ve often felt that way myself.
My son is autistic you see, and he’s classed as vulnerable. We’ve been shielding since March and I have no idea when it will be safe for him to go back to school. As lockdown is being relaxed, everything seems just as scary and uncertain for disabled people.
You’ve allowed us to still be there for disabled people
While demand for our services has increased, your continued support has meant that disabled people and their families have maintained access to our services and are able to get support from advisers like me, who know exactly what they’re going through.
In the weeks ahead, when families are feeling overwhelmed or scared, they’ll be able to reach out and hear me say, “you’re not alone. I’m here to support you”. From my own experience, I know those words mean everything, so thank you.
Thanks to you, Scope was able to support disabled people and their families when the pandemic first hit. But as we move into the next stage of the coronavirus crisis, the need for advice and support from people like Louise remains vital, please make an extra donation today.