CL Medilaw have contacted the charities that we regularly work with to see how they are coping in these exceptional times. We spoke to Rainbow Hub, a charity based in Mawdesley, Lancashire who provide therapeutic services for children and young people with physical disabilities as a result of a neurological condition or brain injury.
Covid-19 has had a dramatic impact on the lives of everyone but for the families of disabled children many are feeling more isolated and forgotten than ever before. During this pandemic a lot of the therapy, care, respite and support families usually receive has been stopped but the needs of the children remain the same. Months without therapeutic input could have a devastating and long lasting impact on a disabled child, especially those younger children who benefit so much from early intervention.
How have Rainbow Hub adapted their services?
Rainbow Hub have very quickly realised the need to continue to support the children and families despite having to suspend their onsite services and many of the children shielding. They were the first centre in the North West to offer virtual Conductive Education, offering group sessions as well as one to one support. The sessions provide the children with the opportunity to continue to develop their physical abilities as well as an opportunity for families to stay in touch. Demand grew rapidly with more families needing the expertise of their Conductor and they are now supporting over 50 children each week. Rainbow Hub have just taken two more members of staff off the furlough scheme which means that they’ll be able to support more children and young people over the coming weeks and months.
They have been creative when coming up with ways to stay in contact with the families and are excited to be launching a new virtual communication group. This will allow children and families to enjoy developing their communication through a variety of different methods including sign. These will be fun and engaging sessions, using stories and songs and will be open for anyone with communication needs to join.
How is COVID-19 affecting Rainbow Hub financially?
They are doing everything they can to support disabled children from across the North West at a time when fundraising has all but stopped overnight. They have had to cancel several of their events meaning a loss of income of around £200,000. The annual Rainbow Ramble had to be cancelled which was a huge blow to the charity. The event not only raises £30,000 but is also a huge celebration of the work that they do at Rainbow Hub and the achievements the children have made. The charity does not receive any statutory funding so they need the support of the general public more than ever. They ask that people donate, fundraise, take part in their lottery or support in any other way they can, the more creative the better! Just £20 will provide a virtual Conductive Education session for a child which is vital to their future.
For more details on how to become involved with Rainbow Hub please visit their social media pages @rainbowhubnw, call 01704 823276 or visit their website at wwwrainbowhub.org.