Member Article

Charity tackling lockdown loneliness receives funding boost from housebuilders – and says thank you via virtual video

A local charity that helps people with learning disabilities build connections with others during the covid crisis has received vital support from Barratt and David Wilson Homes – and have shown their appreciation with a “thank you” video for the housebuilders.

While we’ve all felt the missing connections of loved ones during the pandemic, one charity has particularly seen the effects loneliness can cause on more vulnerable individuals.

FitzRoy is a national charity supporting people with learning disabilities and autism and enabling them to live the lives they choose. Their Love4Life project, with bases in Fareham and Basingstoke, helps its members build friendships and relationships in a safe and supportive environment by offering a range of social, sporting and educational activities as well as chaperoned dates and relationship advice.

When lockdown restrictions meant that Love4Life activities could not take place in person, FitzRoy took the brave decision to adapt its services to a full online offering ensuring that Love4Life members could remain connected with each other during the long months of the pandemic.

Leading UK housebuilders, Barratt Homes and David Wilson Homes, heard about Love4Life and they wanted to help. They stepped in to offer support via their Community Fund Scheme, which donates £1,000 to worthy causes in the region each month.

Tammy Bishop, Sales Director at Barratt and David Wilson Homes’ Southampton division, said: “The fact that FitzRoy offer a Love4Life project that helps connect people didn’t only strike a chord with us given the current situation, but we also thought it was a great fit for the month of February.”

FitzRoy has welcomed the donation and, with the help of Barratt and David Wilson Homes, the charity has been able to continue with its Love4Life project during the pandemic – and members submitted a heartfelt video to say thank you.

Hayley Ostler, Love4Life Coordinator, said: “Love4Life is vital, not just for making friends and widening social circles, but also for people’s mental health. Isolation and loneliness have become even more acute for those living with learning disabilities during the pandemic. We thank Barratt and David Wilson Homes for their generous support as we do our best to reach more people who are currently living a life of lockdown.”

FitzRoy received National Lottery funding three years ago so they could expand its Love4life provision to Basingstoke and North Hampshire. With the experience it has gained with online provision, the charity aims to develop its online activities further over the next five years while looking forward to a return to face-to-face activities in Fareham and Basingstoke, to continually meet the needs of its new and existing members.

In addition to the Love4Life project, FitzRoy is working on a project to create a multi-activity and sensory space at its Pastures residential care home in Norfolk, and is providing assistive technology for those who need it at various locations, including in Hampshire, Suffolk, Trafford, Coventry and Norfolk.

Elizabeth Fitzroy and John Williams founded the charity almost sixty years ago at a time when most adults with learning disabilities lived their lives isolated and often ostracised from their communities. The charity’s mission was to change that. And now, the FitzRoy family consists of almost 1500 staff, supporting over 800 people across 15 counties.

The Barratt and David Wilson Homes Community Fund is a dedicated financial resource that helps to support local causes which improve the quality of life for those living in the region.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Barratt Homes .

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