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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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David’s birthday fundraiser in aid of Countryside Mobility

“I wanted to do something close to my heart. My family and friends know how much I enjoy the countryside. So, I suggested instead of any gifts, if they might like to give a donation to Living Options.”

Read the full story

Steve’s Countryside Mobility story

“The loss of mobility is forever but these machines will certainly change a disabled person’s perspective of just what might be achievable and remove some of the restrictions if only for a few hours.”

Read the full story

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”.

Read the full story

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

Our News

Deaf Awareness Week 2024

We’re proudly supporting Deaf Awareness Week running from 6-12 May 2024

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Devon County Show includes British Sign Language (BSL) signing for 2024

Devon County Show has introduced a number of new initiatives this year to help make the show accessible, including British […]

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A Volunteer Disability Ambassador Network in Devon

Living Options Devon is offering free disability awareness training for community groups, clubs, classes and activity providers as part of […]

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Tesco blue token charity!

Living Options Sight and Hearing Service is a Tesco blue token charity in April, May and June! Please vote for us!

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Exeter Volunteer Fayre – 21 March

The Exeter Volunteer Fayre is back and we’re delighted to be involved again this year. The Volunteer Fayre takes place […]

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Sign Language Week 2024

We’re proudly supporting Sign Language Week! 18 – 24 March.

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Time to Talk day 1 February 2024

We are proudly supporting Time to Talk Day. Time to Talk Day is the nation’s biggest mental health conversation.

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Are you finding Christmas difficult?

Christmas is a time of year when we are expected to be joyful and sociable, spending time surrounded by family and friends. For many of of us though, Christmas can be a particularly difficult time.

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