VALUES service delivers virtual sessions during lockdown

Like most face-to-face support services, our VALUES Learning Disability service had to close its doors to new and existing clients at the beginning of the lockdown.

While it was a hard decision to take, particularly since many VALUES clients enjoy the opportunity to socialise and be a part of a fun community, it was the only decision the service could possibly make for the safety of both its clients and its staff.

Since then, the VALUES team has worked hard to find ways to continue supporting existing clients. The team have adapted quickly and started delivering virtual sessions to make sure clients still have an opportunity to interact with each other and with support staff.

So far they’ve delivered maths and English sessions over virtual chat, and even ran the drama group online! They have also done singing, dancing, PE with Joe Wicks, art, photography and the disco.

VALUES client Tom said:

Thank you for carrying on the activities in a video calls it was weird at first but getting used to it…. I had lots of fun. it was really great to see my friends and the support (staff).

The service also had excellent feedback from the parents of another VALUES client, Punit. They were very happy and appreciative that VALUES was keeping in touch with clients, especially because some of them are still confused with what’s happening.

VALUES Manager Mikaela Paterson said:

Sometimes it gets difficult for Punit to understand and he gets angry, so I told them that I don’t mind talking to Punit any time he wants to chat. They thanked us for providing this kind of service which no other organisations are doing.

Being able to support people virtually isn’t just about keeping busy. Keeping a sense of routine and socialising is very important for people’s mental health and has a knock-on effect on behaviour that family members really notice. Family members are also appreciating having someone to talk to, but more than that we are also able to help some families by collecting food and medication for them when they are unable.

VALUES will continue adding more sessions to its virtual offering and more and more clients are now joining them as VALUES staff are able to help clients and their families set up the technology to get involved.

You can see more about these sessions on the VALUES Facebook page, or if you want to know more about what VALUES does, you can contact Mikaela Paterson directly on:
0116 257 5044

VALUES launches Mencap Round the World event

The Round the World Challenge is a way to get people with learning disabilities more active while reducing their isolation. Hours doing physical activity are converted to miles and people make their way around the UK, Europe and the World, depending which challenge they choose.

The launch event was attended by a large number of adults with a learning disability. Leicester Tigers coaches provided a range of activities for people to try including rugby, basketball and archery. It marks the start of a weekly multi-sports session run by VALUES, with coaching from Tigers coaching staff.

Leicester Tigers Player Harry Wells came along to the launch event to show his support. He said:

It’s great to see anyone getting involved in sport and there’s a real sense of community here.

Katie attended the event and was very excited to meet Harry Wells. She said:

The people here welcome you with open arms and they don’t judge you.

Russell, who has been with VALUES over 20 years also attended:

My favourite sport is basketball – I’ve had lots of support here and it’s a positive place for making friends.

Mikaela Paterson, one of the VALUES Team Managers, organised and attended the event. She said:

“The launch was really well attended and it’s great to see people being active, having fun and making new friends. Sports helps to tackle isolation and increase self-esteem as well as getting you fit. That’s something that should be accessible to everyone.”

VALUES runs a weekly multi-sports session on Wednesdays, 2.30-4pm, at Aylestone Leisure Centre. The session is £5 and attendees can bring their own support for free.

If you would like to know more about how VALUES can provide direct support or you want more information then call us on 0116 2575044.