Community Link Foundation donated money to a children’s charity enabling them to buy laptops and computers to keep in touch with the children who were shielding at home.
Rainbow Hub, based in Skelmersdale,is a charity supporting children and young people with physical disabilities as a result of neurological conditions or brain injury.During the Coronavirus pandemic all onsite services had to be suspended leaving 103 children and young people without their usual hands on physical therapies.
While all the children had to be at home, Rainbow Hub had to look at alternative ways to support them and keep in touch with the families.They applied to Community Link Foundation for funding for four laptops and three iPads that they could give to families to access online therapy sessions and support.
All physio sessions were suspended at the start of the pandemic but without regular movement many of the children would seize up, causing painful muscle spasms and undoing all their hard work prior to Covid-19. Whilst children without disabilities can play in the garden or enjoy other forms of exercise, many of the Rainbow Hub children were faced with having to remain in their wheelchairs.
Once the iPads and laptops were purchased, therapies could be delivered by professionals online, ensuring the children are exercising safely. The technology has also meant that the children could maintain relationships with their friends,and their parents could also access support.
Rainbow Hub previously only had one working iPad which was being used by the Lead Conductor to deliver sessions all day long. The success of the online work meant that they were able to take two more people off the furlough scheme to deliver more services.
When lockdown first happened they were supporting around 15 children a week through virtual sessions but that has now increased to100 children each week with parents describing them as their ‘lifeline’.
Lyndsay Fahey, interim CEO at Rainbow Hub, said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive funding from the Community Link Foundation. We had a limited number of old laptops which gave us no end of problems and caused a great deal of frustration for our staff and the families we support.
“Thanks to this funding, not only are we able to work more efficiently but we have also been able to get more staff online to offer more therapy to more children.This has been invaluable to the children and families at a time when all other therapies and support has been stopped.We cannot thank the Community Link Foundation enough for their continued support.”
Enda Rylands, chair of Community Link Foundation, said: “As soon as we received this request for funding we wanted to do whatever we could to help. It is sad to think of these children not being able to access the services they normally do, and the impact that that could have. But, we know that Rainbow Hub do an amazing job and wanted to do everything we could to support them. They have worked tirelessly to ensure that the families are supported and we are really pleased that we were able to help.”