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At LinkAble there are three main service strands: children (5 – 11), youth (11 – 18) and adults (18 plus). We meet with all those wishing to access our services and use the information gathered to tailor our offer to meet the needs of the individual service user.
- Our children's services run on Saturdays and during school holidays. They offer younger service users opportunities to play, experiment, learn, take carefully managed risks and form meaningful friendships in a safe environment supported by specially trained staff
- Our youth service runs on Saturdays, in the school holidays and during the week at Youth Clubs. Individuals can access activities and experiences that they might not be able to access without the support of our specially trained staff
- Our services for adults with learning disabilities can be broadly sorted into two groups. Day time services tend to be used by adults with higher needs and focus on providing new experiences and accessing supported activities which give back to the community. Our evening services generally feature more user-led social and recreational activities such as sporting activities, theatre visits and cooking together. We also run activities for those interested in the arts with our singing group meeting on a Tuesday evening and our drama groups meeting on a Sunday. We run bi-monthly nightclub evenings which frequently attract over 200 people.
For a parent or carer knowing that they can leave their child at one of our holiday schemes or Saturday sessions for 6 hours in a safe and supported environment is a huge relief. It allows them the opportunity to spend much needed time with a sibling, go to work, complete everyday tasks such as shopping or grab some much-needed rest and relaxation.
Our adult service users are at risk of feeling isolated with limited opportunities to interact with others or participate in different experiences and activities. Knowing that they can attend a group and meet up with friends socially in a safe and supported environment, with professional and well-trained staff on hand, is vital for maintaining and improving their health and wellbeing. For family and carers, it is reassuring to know this too. All the service users who attend LinkAble come from within the local community. Most whether they are a child or adult, will have or be experiencing one or more of the issues below:
• Additional health and mobility need as well as a learning disability that requires one to one support
• A lack of support from family members
• Having the financial resources to access the additional support they need on top of everyday expenses
• Limited or no access to leisure activities or new experiences
• Limited opportunities for parents to work due to ongoing care requirements
• Many families must manage multiple appointments with medical and other care providers which can often lead to a hectic, sometimes stressful home life
• Fewer opportunities for social engagement and spending time with their peers
• Venues and places of interest that they would like to visit may not be accessible due to an individual’s ability and lack of mobility, sometimes both. Or simply it is not practical to go as a family due to the support they need
• No support available, or groups set up to cater for their needs
• Individuals do not have the same routes through education, employment, social engagement, and life opportunities as their peers
The needs of our service users have been heightened during the pandemic and because of the restrictions that have been put in place during the pandemic.
A donation towards the cost of delivering support will enable us to maintain our current level and develop services to meet the ongoing needs of our service users.