Thirteen charities working to support autistic people, disabled people and people with a learning disability are set to benefit from additional government funding to combat the challenges faced by the pandemic.
It was announced today (30 March) that the UK Government will provide a £2.4 million fund, focusing on supporting charities to continue running vital services.
The announcement comes after the success of £1.2 million worth of funding that was initially given to seven charities in July 2020 to aid from COVID-19.
Money from the fund will support people of all ages to improve their physical and mental wellbeing by funding services to provide practical support for disabled children, set up and expand helplines, provide mental health and wellbeing support for both staff and disabled people and support advocacy.
Minister for Care, Helen Whately said: “I know this last year has been a particularly difficult time for disabled people, autistic people and those with a learning disability.
It will help vital charities offer projects which are improving the physical and mental wellbeing of thousands every day.”
Thirteen charities will benefit from the new funding announced, helping to run helplines, combat loneliness and fund vital activities. The charities set to receive funding include Sense, RNIB, Mencap, Scope, Leonard Cheshire, Contact, Challenging Behaviour Foundation and the National Autistic Society, to name just a few.
“I’m very pleased that this additional funding will go towards supporting charities and organisations helping disabled people, autistic people, and those with a learning disability,” commented Minister for Civil Society, Baroness Barran.
“The last year has been lonely and difficult for many, but it’s important to remember that as lockdown restrictions are eased, not everyone will be able to return to normal life straight away.”
This funding is for work which has had a significant positive impact on autistic people, disabled people and those with a learning disability, as well as their families and carers.
One of the projects run through the charity Sense has provided over 1,000 arts, sports and wellbeing kits to disabled children, families and adults to help support them through the pandemic.
Leonard Cheshire has supported 1,700 young disabled people since April 2020, delivering over 200virtual sessions to combat loneliness. This was particularly effective between academic terms, and ensured regular engagement avoids any break in routines which can exacerbate existing anxiety and mental health issues.
Adding to the news, the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Justin Tomlinson said: “The wellbeing and practical support provided by these charities throughout the pandemic has been invaluable to disabled people and their families.