EMH Care and Support received help from the Feeling Connected Fund to provide additional support for adults with learning difficulties to gain independence by teaching skills about connecting with others online.
Michelle Drain, inclusion and engagement co-ordinator at EMH Care and Support, said: “We work with adults with a range of needs, some who live independently and some who live in supported accommodation. For those who live on their own, their only social connection during the pandemic might be with their support workers for a couple of hours a week, which can easily lead to isolation and feeling lonely.
“However, many of our service users experience barriers when it comes to online usage and they feel anxious and need reassurance to help and encourage them. Thanks to the funding from the Feeling Connected project, we have been able teach them how to use technology and online platforms, such as emails and Zoom. This has enabled them to engage with others in order to create a wider network and make them feel part of a community – something they have missed out on hugely.
“We have been able to spend time teaching them how to use the technology, create easy-read information packs for them to refer to and organise weekly sessions with other service users to help them engage and socialise. We have seen an increase their confidence, giving them a greater sense of independence and a new way to socialise, which can be a vital lifeline during these difficult times.”