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How we’ve helped you during the pandemic

Between 1st April 2020 and 31st March 2021 we engaged and supported over 8000 disabled people and members of the Deaf people who use BSL through a range of services.

“100% all the way you are the only ones to listen to me”

Our support services that made a difference

  • person on a Countryside Mobility all terrain mobility scooter enjoying the grounds at Powderham Castle

    When Covid restrictions allowed, we provided safe enjoyable access to the South West’s most scenic locations for anyone who has difficulty walking, through our off road mobility scooter hire scheme – Countryside Mobility.  Giving people the opportunity to spend time outdoors and experience the countryside independently; spending time with family and friends: all contributing to improved wellbeing.

    Countryside Mobility

  • graphic design image of the logo for Inside Out Podcast showing blue sky and grass hills. Text reads Inside Out Podcast from Countryside Mobility

    We produced a podcast with a focus on the outdoors for people to connect with when movements were restricted during lockdowns.  Listen to all the ‘Inside Out’ Podcast episodes.

    Inside Out Podcast

  • Man in office holding phone to ear and smiling warmly to camera

    We increased the capacity of our Time to Talk team (our telephone / webcam support service). Our team provided regular ‘befriending’ telephone calls to people with a range of disabilities / long term health conditions including people who were shielding and people with mental ill health. Through guided conversations the team helped people motivate themselves to regain and  maintain good general health.  60% of respondents told us they feel less lonely/isolated since receiving support from Time to Talk.

    Time To Talk

  • Deaf Led services at LOD - image of woman using British sign language

    We provided support to members of the Deaf community through our Deaf Led Services team.  The team offered peer support via FaceTime, practical help and guidance in British Sign Language.

    Deaf Led Services

  • A collage of photos of a female fitness instructor doing various different exercises including seated and standing exercise in BSL

    We worked hard to increase participation in physical activity for local people with disabilities, long term health conditions and Deaf British Sigh Language users, helping to address the impact of Covid 19 on people’s health and wellbeing.  We produced our own online fitness resources as well as providing signposting to accessible fitness sessions on our Social Media pages and YouTube channel.  53% said our social media content and resources helped them feel more connected 

    Living Options Devon Keep Active

  • Smiling woman stood next to a door into a bright room with pot plant and soft furniture.

    We were able to offer specialist BSL counselling for Deaf people as well as counselling for disabled people.  Feedback from our counselling provision highlights that lockdowns added another barrier to the lives of disabled people, many of whom face barriers already. Counselling helped them to keep a sense of perspective and to make positive plans for the future.   

    Counselling Service

  • PenPlady on the phone wearing glasses

    We developed a HUB team as our first point of contact for those in need of practical and wellbeing support.  For example help with food deliveries and managing feelings of worry and isolation. We have been a regular point of contact for those people who need to have someone to feel they are not alone in the world. In a recent survey, 83% of respondents reported that it was helpful talking to someone  and  84% of respondents told us the support has helped them feel less alone.                                            

    The Hub

  • Woman sat in the dark with stripes of orange light coming through the window on her. She has her head in her hands, lonely and sad

    We responded to an increasing need for support for disabled and Deaf victims of crime. Referrals to our Victim Care service almost doubled within the last year.

    Victim Care and Support

  • We gathered up to date information from disabled and Deaf people about the emerging issues throughout the pandemic, enabling us to influence service provision. Our engagement team liaised with over 1000 people who took part in our engagement activities.  Our CEO has presented many of our consultation reports during public strategic meetings to influence meaningful change across the whole system. 

    Devon Engagement Service

  • left hand image we see the side of a person in a wheelchair wheeling down a well lit corridor, looks like a health care establishment.

    We continued to provide Advocacy support to vulnerable people across Devon and Torbay, in total we received 1,543 referrals. We adapted our way of working meaning that most of our support was provided remotely, unless the client was at particular risk without face-to-face advocacy. We have worked closely with hospitals and care homes to ensure people maintain their right to statutory independent advocacy during this difficult time.

    Devon Advocacy Service (DAC)

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Jodie’s Story

“Jodie has been able to fully access two National Trust properties in Cornwall. Today we have been at Godolphin. In April she was able to use the Tramper at Lanhydrock”.

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Annie’s Story

“It stopped me from worrying about things, we could talk things through. It was somebody at the end of the phone to have a laugh with.”

Read the full story

Mick’s Story

“It is very rewarding watching people build their confidence and being part of their journey in sports”

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Ted’s Story

“I’m fifty and can now go with my wife, grandchildren and dog rather than sitting in the car pretending I’m okay.”

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Our News

What is Counselling?

What is counselling? When should someone seek counselling and how can it help? Find the answers to these questions and many more in this thirty minute interview.

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How we have helped you during the pandemic

We know the pandemic is still ongoing, but it’s important for us to reflect on what we have achieved so […]

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HOPE Programme Facilitator

Help Overcoming Problems Effectively (HOPE) a free 6 weekly session course to help you cope better emotionally, psychologically and practically with your long term health condition.

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Looking to learn a new skill?

Health and Social Care Skills Accelerator Program has been developed in Devon to provide access for more people to an exciting and varied career in Health and Social Care. You can access education, skills, training, and other learning opportunities to better yourself and work in health care.

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Welcoming Devonshire Freemasons

We were delighted to welcome representatives from the Devonshire Freemasons to our office last month. The Masonic Charitable Foundation has awarded us a grant to support the continued delivery of our support services in Northern Devon.

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We the 15

We’re people with disabilities. We’re 15% of the world.

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Accessible Meeting Room Hire

Our offices and rooms are wheelchair friendly offering ground floor level access throughout. Our flexible layout means we can adapt our office space to meet most people’s needs.

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Peter’s Legacy

“Barriers to independent living still exist, peoples horizons are limited still, and expectations are still relatively low and levels of understanding amongst the wider community are limited as to what disabled people have the capability of achieving. If we could improve that further, I think it would be a major achievement and we’d be making a major breakthrough” Peter Swain OBE

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