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Inspiring stories during lockdown

Amid the worry and confusion of the country-wide lockdown, inspiring stories are surfacing all across Brandon.

St Petrocs home-cafeAdapting to the new government rules is difficult for everyone. For people with learning disabilities and autism, it can be even harder to cope with changes in routine and a lack of control over situations. Despite the numerous challenges, we've been hearing stories brimming with kindness, compassion, courage, and togetherness.

Finding ways to keep people occupied in meaningful activity could be a tricky prospect, but our innovative staff teams continue to come up with new options and solutions. The team in Bristol set up a charity shop at home so Val could still do her much-loved weekly shop, and the supermarket was brought to David to help him cope with changes to his routine. In Gloucestershire, Miranda and Sarah dressed up to have a 'night out' at home, and some people opened their own home-café in St Petrocs, Cornwall, so they still could enjoy a cuppa and cake.

Chase the rainbow

Hannah and Laura's rainbow shedThroughout Brandon, people we support have been getting arty and crafty. In a show of support for the NHS, people in Gloucestershire created an art installation in their garden. Many have joined in the Chase the Rainbow fun, creating beautiful artwork to spread joy from their windows… and two young ladies in North Somerset went a step further by transforming their garden shed into a giant rainbow! Easter was also a focus and led to creative competition in Cornwall and some stunning masterpieces.

Brandon staff are also fully embracing other roles. They're drawing on their additional skills, from hairdressing, to tech support; enabling people to make video calls or use WhatsApp – essential in helping people to maintain contact with their loved ones.

Amazing outcomes

Communities are pulling together. To help people we support, volunteer staff have been out and about, delivering food parcels of delicious produce from our social enterprises, Elm Tree Farm and Vassall's Cafe. Businesses, including TK Maxx in Worle, and Greggs in Bristol, have reached out to Brandon services to make sure food stock did not go to waste.

Art installation in support of the NHSAdapting to this different way of life has had a positive impact on many individuals. It presents opportunities to try new things and develop skills, sometimes achieving amazing outcomes.

People we support have been getting involved in things that perhaps they wouldn't usually do; Kathy has found a passion for ironing, Ben has mastered FaceTime so he can keep in touch with his parents, and Ian asked if he could join in with a game of dominoes – which might not seem like much but is a huge breakthrough for him… full story coming soon!

Brandon Chief Executive, Sue Porto says:

"Despite the challenges, I am constantly amazed by the outstanding commitment, strength and energy that Brandon staff are showing in continuing to provide great care. I am humbled by the stories I hear every day."

Have a story to share?

We love hearing about what people are getting up to. If you have an inspiring story you’d like to share, or any tips and tricks for coping with the lockdown, please get in touch with us: communications@brandontrust.org.