The service’s work during the lockdown

The past few months have had a significant effect on all of the council’s services, and there’s no single service that hasn’t felt the effects of the pandemic. As the government instructed everyone to work from home, a long period of working in a makeshift office and conducting meetings over ‘teams’ faced most of us. However, not every service can take their work home, and the learning disability service where I’m placed during my time on the scheme is one of the services that fit in this category.

Although I have been fortunate enough to be able to work from home during the lockdown, around four hundred of our service staff have continued to support individuals in their homes, in our day centres and out in the community. For this to work the service were forced to adapt and change the way we work. For example, by emphasising on the importance of supporting individuals in the outdoors where possible, taking advantage of technology like Zoom, or even supporting individuals in full PPE uniform. Generally speaking, this period has been very challenging for everyone. However, statistically Covid-19 and the resulting lockdown have effected individuals with learning disabilities disproportionately, with ONS reporting that over 65% of adults with a learning disability are worried about their health and wellbeing.

Considering the nature of our work, and the additional pressure the pandemic has placed on individuals with learning disabilities and their families across the county, it was essential that our projects continued. Working on projects from home can be challenging, as the way we communicate and co-ordinate with partners and cross departmental teams has changed drastically. One of the most exciting projects of the period was the development of a new community hub in Felinheli. The service gained European grant funding to transform the old Brynffynnon school site into a modern resource which will be enable us to provide new opportunities in the Arfon region, before and after photos can be seen at the bottom of the page. This development is consistent with the service’s long term vision, which is to develop a number of community hubs across Gwynedd to ensure that individuals have somewhere to develop life skills, gain confidence and take part in groups and activities hand in hand with the local community.

We’re currently consulting with local residents and with council staff, and are looking for a new name for our community hub. Can you think of a name for the new hub? If you have any suggestions, get in touch with me at: meilirpriceowen@gwynedd.llyw.cymru. We have a unique prize for the winner!

Bye for now,

Meilir

Before and after photos from the project in Felinheli.

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