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How we’ve been supporting each other during the COVID-19 pandemic

From 16th March 2020, GDA suspended all planned programmes due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The staff team switched to home working, and immediately began reaching out to our 5,000+ disabled members to listen and offer support, through phone calls, postal mails outs and online. We were extremely lucky that our funders allowed us to redirect resources and employ a fantastic team of temporary workers to help us make over 8,000 phone calls, send out 20,000 mail shots, and collect 2,100 in-depth responses to our COVID-resilience survey within the first 4 months.

Our well developed infrastructure as a community of identity allowed us to connect with over 6,000 disabled people during these months, and the time and lived experience contributed by our members enabled us to adapt our services, rapidly develop new ones to fill gaps and meet emerging needs during the crisis and beyond.

GDA resilience engagement and response: Snapshot 20 March - 31 July.Disabled people said: 80% Not aware of local supports they could access
41% struggled to find accessible info in formats needed
Engagement: 6000+ wellbeing check-in calls made
20,000  mail outs of accessible information
2500+ calls received to GDA helpline
5000+ connected to information and support
[picture of a phone]Lifeline Support
Disabled people said: 47% worried about access to food or medications
57% worried about money nad hardship
1251 deliveries of food, medication and essentials
137 people support with Welfare Rights
£191,115.47 gained for disabled people [picture of a piggybank]Supporting Wellbeing and
Disabled people said:
90% worried about their physical or mental health
47% Worried about their social care support300+ people given in-depth support from our new Wellbeing Service [Picture of a hand and a heart above it]
86 Online Health & Wellbeing sessions: chair based exercise, tai chi, mindfulness, relaxation, coping with anxiety.
57 received 'Future Visions' support: one on one peer support or coarching around their social care need.Building Connections and Digital InclusionDisabled people said:82% worried about isolation
60% are digitally excluded
[Picture of a finger pressing a tablet]
200+ learners took part in 218 online learning, discussion and peer support sessions
393 people received digital support calls
188 skills up to join GDA online learning and events
173 eceiving coaching and / or equipment to get online.