Staying In Touch Clubs, Covid Hero Award

Our ‘Covid Hero’ nomination is not for one person, but rather for an important and influential group of people we support, house and employ: Dimensions Council.

At the start of the first lockdown, members of the Council wanted to create a way to connect people who otherwise might be stuck at home with no activities to do.

They came up with the idea of running online activities and groups, and the project was named Staying In Touch. Council chair Jordan Smith and campaigns adviser Dr Mark Brookes MBE led the campaign with backing from the Council. A survey was sent out to discover what activities would be popular and the project launched in May 2020.

Dimensions’ Health Equalities Lead, Jordan Smith and Dimensions’ Campaign Advisor, Mark Brookes
Dimensions’ Advocacy Lead and Council chair Jordan Smith and Dimensions’ Campaign Advisor, Mark Brookes

From Arts to Bingo, Friendship to TV and Film, Soccer to Music there is something for everyone. The programme has gone from strength to strength and reaches hundreds of people a month.

People sign up for the clubs which are run at times people want, including evening, weekends and even Christmas Day.  Each session is hosted by a person with a learning disability and/or autism, who is supported or employed by Dimensions. Clubs are facilitated by the Involvement and Engagement team and volunteers from business support colleagues, building stronger relationships.

Jane hosts the Art club. She says, “Art club was my idea and I’m surprised how popular has become. It’s made me feel really good and has made other people happy. If we didn’t have it I would feel down. Staff have helped me get through and support me to get online.

The clubs are still going for people who are not going back to their usual clubs and jobs.

Good luck Mark, Jordan and David who will be representing the rest of the Dimensions council at these Awards!