Bradbury Fields is a charity that supports people who are visually impaired or experiencing other forms of sensory loss with daily living skills and provides counselling to support mental and physical health.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, the team offered a programme of counselling and assessments, education and social activities – but social distancing and shielding measures made it much harder to offer these vital services. They have made huge efforts to overcome the new obstacles so they can continue to be there for local people.
The tension and uncertainty that can come with going to the shops is just one example of how the coronavirus has been challenging for those the charity supports. “The lack of overall confidence has knocked the stuffing out of people” says Philip Longworth, Chief Executive.
Funding from the NET Coronavirus Appeal, through the Community Foundation for Merseyside, has enabled the Bradbury Fields team to invest in digital technology so that its volunteers can continue to offer local people the care, support and a sense of connection they need remotely. “Quick thinking and a willingness to accept the change in our lives has helped us to continue to provide care”, says Philip.
Since the start of the pandemic, more than 150 brilliant volunteers, including some that have used the service themselves, have supported more than 5000 people: identifying urgent cases as well as offering ‘Check and Chat’ programmes that help to make sure people are OK.