Northumberland Independent Advocacy Service is running a project called Keeping People Connected. The aim of the project, which was first delivered by People First at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, is to support people with learning disabilities and/or autism who have no other access to support from family or other agencies, to link with local services during lockdown.
The service is being run until 31 March 2021, thanks to funding from NHS Northumberland Clinical Comissioning Group. Referrals are welcome for people who have a learning disability, learning difficulty or autism who qualify for, and would benefit from, independent telephone support from experienced, friendly and specialist professionals to gain access to services throughout the county.
The organisations involved will help people to:
- Understand what ‘staying at home’ or ‘staying alert’ means
- Understand the guidance on how to stay safe and not catch the virus, who to contact and where to go
- Understand and treat any symptoms and illness they might have and generally look after themselves in this difficult time
- Decide what immediate support they might need e.g. getting food or medication, knowing how to ask for help in an emergency
- Know where to access more support services and connect to local groups
- Feel supported, by staying in touch on an ongoing basis, if needed
- Solve problems if things go wrong
- Get help from other services where needed