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Thursday, 26 November 2020

CHARITY TODAY AWARDS

Strode Park Foundation: Can you support our iPad/Tablet Appeal?

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By Sarah Bingham Community, Events and Volunteer Co-ordinator

WOW, how times have changed and very suddenly!

As a fundraising team we are sitting back and reflecting on what seemed like tough and busy times but now, by comparison, appear to have felt so easy.

Times when people popped in and out, faces laughed and smiled at each other freely when we danced and sang with friends, volunteers and families.

We find ourselves in a place we have never been before and for many, we just have to take it in our stride and get on with this ‘new normal’.

We’re working from home, we have cancelled events, we’re thinking of new creative ways to bring in an income and we are having to communicate service changes to our staff and supporters. The most important of these changes is the ‘No Visitors’ policy. We simply cannot allow any visitors into the home and this sadly includes our residents’ loved ones.

With limited technology resource to be able to facilitate video calls for everyone it’s a very distressing time for our clients.

When you have the capacity to understand these things and rationalise them, not seeing family like you are used to becomes a gauntlet challenge which can be embraced and overcome with a satisfying sense of achievement and success when new directions are found.

However, the real champions in this are those who can facilitate communication for those who cannot achieve it so easily. We write, we talk on the phone and we text and for some this is enough to make us feel at ease during this crisis, and can make the loneliness and confusion of the coronavirus pandemic disperse.

But let us think too of those for whom this communication isn’t enough, or accessible. The ability to see your loved ones, to hear their voices and to watch the smiles of reassurance makes a huge difference to many of our service users and we, like the rest of the world, never foresaw the implications to day to day life that this pandemic has brought, so what now?

We draw, we call, we connect using social media using devices that we have had to borrow or beg for and we talk, we still smile and we still do what every person in the world needs, we CONNECT with people that we love – in whatever way works, because without this connection, this pandemic becomes something even more scary and even more lonely than any of us can imagine.

We are currently appealing for devices to make this connection easier. As many as we can get because we have a number of homes across the county and more than 150 residents to help.

If you, or anyone that you know, is able to donate an iPad or tablet that they no longer use or is able to send us a donation towards us purchasing one, please get in touch by emailing fundraising@strodepark.org.uk or to make a donation please click here.

We thank everyone who has donated and offered devices already.

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