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Projects delivered by disability community groups

March to September 2021

Contact details

Summary of activity

Grace House North East

Victoria Brown

0191 435 2088

Covid page:


This project will seek to communicate the key messages as detailed on the council website and the project brief regarding COVID 19, testing, vaccination programme, prevention of transmission and any issues families may face through:

  • Direct conversations with parent carers via telephone using a pre-prepared script detailing Government and Council guidelines with appropriate signposting
  • Information sheets using Makaton or other forms of communication that will help disabled children and young people understand the key messages
  • Social media platforms, links on our website as well as live streaming using Streamyard (similar to a Podcast format). We will invite public health personnel to deliver key messages with a Q&A session for parents
  • Additional family therapy sessions and counselling that will help vulnerable families to deal with the changes detailed in the new road map for example returning to school, changes that we already know have a substantial impact on the families we support. These sessions will include activities we have used before with excellent results such as Mindfulness, Gong Baths, Family Therapy and counselling etc., with sensory equipment designed to reduce anxiety of young people with an autism diagnosis

St Mary and St Peters Community Project

Kim Hunter

07830 346 985

0191 522 7113

Engagement - The project aims to combat social isolation and to gently ease people back into the community that have been long term shielding. They will have a fear, apprehension, or anxiety of meeting with others. Telephone, letter, email and or Zoom will be first contact points. This will be followed by integration into the Wellbeing Café. Information distribution at the Beach Access North East - Sunderland, based in Roker (end of august onwards) will also capture people that do not belong to any group but who are disabled.

Headway Wellbeing Café - The wellbeing Café will be a weekly session, although depending upon uptake members will be rotated via a fortnightly rota to keep the groups small and focused. In the first instance it will be Zoom based to encourage anyone with an ABI with anxiety to join in. For those that can't access IT a small group will be developed using the laptop in the activity room and to link with others via Zoom or telephone who don't feel ready for face to face. Activities will then continue in small groups to include a programme of planned activities including conversational sessions, talking to help with anxiety, and increase wellbeing, share knowledge including Covid and vaccines, hopes and goals Creative Session - creative writing/reading arts and craft activities. Anxiety café will eventually be volunteer, and peer led to help with sustainability. We will look at using it as a conduit to enable service users to become more involved in Headway Wearside as a charity.

Confidence through Covid Course - The course will provide information about vaccines, and how to self-care coming out of lockdown and beyond paying attention to anxiety, providing a toolkit for carers and family members who have an ABI. This will include a discussion session to include: Gain better sleep, Tools to reduce stress, Tools to reduce anxiety, Get going to start your day, Staying motivated, Best practice for mental health. Relaxation sessions such as massage to alleviate anxiety about going out and meeting in groups.

Sunderland and County Durham Royal Society for the Blind

Richard Wood

07814 485 824

0191 567 3939

A questionnaire will be distributed to over 3,000 visually impaired members at the beginning of the project in order to find out how they are, ask what problems have affected them due to the pandemic and what assistance they require.

They will produce a local Talking Newspaper which will target visually impaired and hearing-impaired people. Information will be provided in a variety of formats including large print, email, audio and braille with the audio in USB and CD format.

They will produce 2 newsletters during the period of the grant and the focus will be upon the pandemic and cover the areas listed in the criteria e.g. health risks of Covid, vaccination, hands, face space etc. The newsletter will make members aware of and how to sign up to services available to the visually impaired including telephone befriending and volunteer car drivers. As soon restrictions allow the society will organise keep fit sessions, healthy walks, advice on healthy cooking and diets, deliver confidence building courses.

We will recruit a team of volunteer telephone befrienders in order to provide a regular contact with visually impaired people who are feeling vulnerable and lonely. We will recruit up to 6 volunteer car drivers who will be available to take visually impaired people for their vaccinations, GP and hospital appointments, assistance with shopping and to bring them to training courses/events/activities when we are able to reopen.

Bede College

Michael Hall

0191 511 6000 (ext. 02443)

07958 302 950

  • Upskilling of curriculum, specifically our discrete Directions provision, to promote services and community engagement
  • Train Student COVID Champions to support activity and promotion with their peers and community, including development and delivery of community social action projects to support collaboration and community cohesion. This will involve promotional activity and resources to engage within the local community
  • Programme of group workshops and support groups for identified cohorts to promote social connectivity and peer support. This will also be supported by Student COVID Champions
  • Group talking therapy sessions facilitated by our counselling and speech and language therapy teams, complementing current support services
  • Targeted workshops for parents/carers and local community to ensure increased awareness of, and engagement with, public health services, vaccination programmes and support to improve health and wellbeing


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