Lonely on Christmas? Not on charity United Response’s watch!

Dedicated support staff from national learning disability charity United Response pulled out all the stops to ensure a special Christmas for people they support and their colleagues who were working on this year’s special day.

After speaking with some of the people he supports, Teddington based manager Matthew Campbell discovered it was highly likely that as a result of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions that many would be alone on Christmas day.

Keen to spread some much-needed festive cheer, Matthew liaised with Kent community support worker Mark Stone and Helen Lawrence, manager at The Donation station charity shop in Folkestone. 

Together they set about organising a Christmas morning Zoom session packed with festive games and activities including carol singing and a special guest appearance from the big man in red himself.

Inspired by the commitment of Matt and colleagues, the charity’s fundraiser Fabia Dimant decided to undertake a fundraising push to put together festive care packages for not only the people that would be alone, but also the support staff that were working on Christmas day.

Fabia’s determined efforts saw her raise over £650 to put towards the care packages, which were supplemented by generous corporate support from Haribo, Greggs, Montezuma’s and Kontidor. This shared spirit meant the team were able to put together 78 gift bags: 53 for the people the charity supports, and another 25 bags for their care workers. 

Matthew Campbell, Team Manager at United Response’s Enterprise hub in Teddington, said:

We all know how difficult this year has been for so many people, probably even more so for people in our sector. The thought that some of these people would be spending Christmas alone, or away from family and loved ones, just didn’t sit right with us. At United Response we think of ourselves as a family of sorts and thanks to Fabia’s help it just seemed like the obvious thing to do!”

United Response runs creative and tight-knit support services for people with learning disabilities and autism across the United Kingdom.

It hosts regular activity groups and social enterprises for local people with learning disabilities, each set up and co-led by people which the charity supports. Classes and groups range from drama and cooking to gardening and meditation.

For more information on how United Response is enabling local people with learning disabilities to live truly independent lives, visit www.unitedresponse.org.uk or call 0203 727 0602.

ENDS

Photos: 1 – Grateful recipient with her support worker. 2 – Happy recipients. 3 – Senior Support Worker Chloe out delivering the bags.

Notes to editors:

For more information, please get in touch with the United Response press team on 0208 246 5237 or at press@unitedresponse.org.uk.

About United Response:

United Response is a top 100 national charity that provides person-centred support to around 2,000 adults and young people with learning disabilities, mental health needs or physical disabilities – including some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

Our vision is a society of equal rights and access where disabled people have the opportunity to live the lives they want to lead.

We provide bespoke support, from 24-hour care to a few hours a week, at around 400 locations across England and Wales. We employ approximately 4,000 staff and are regularly recognised with awards for our innovative, high quality range of services.

To find out more about United Response, please visit: www.unitedresponse.org.uk

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