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Disability Direct receives £100,000 COVID relief grant

Disability Direct receives £100,000 COVID relief grant

Disability Direct has received £100,000 from Barclays Bank’s Covid-19 Community Aid Package as recognition of its impact during the crisis.

The Derby-based charity has been the helping the most vulnerable with access to food, personal protective equipment and advice lines.

In some cases, disabled people have been completely isolated and Disability Direct provided the link to the outside world.

Barclays' Community Relief Programme invited UK charities to apply for one of 100 donations of £100,000.

The grant to Disability Direct means it will be able to pay for a volunteer co-ordinator who will oversee befriending schemes and neighbourhood champions.

It will also beef up its advice services and help inform disabled people of employment rights if they fear they may be vulnerable to losing their jobs.

Some of the money will help plug the gap in the finances of its Enabled Centre in Derby which re-opened last month, offering a safe and supported environment for disabled adults to take part in fun activities as well as learning opportunities for independent living.

Nigel Higgins, Barclays Chairman, said: “COVID-19 has created an unprecedented social and economic impact in the UK, with many experiencing greater hardship due to the crisis.

“Incredible charities, such as Disability Direct have been playing a vital role in the UK’s response to the pandemic, ensuring urgent help reaches those most in need of support.

“As a bank, we have been doing all we can for our customers, clients and colleagues, and we hope that by partnering with Disability Direct and many other charities across the UK, collectively we can ensure that as many people as possible in the communities in which we live and work are supported through this crisis.”

Disability Direct Chief Executive Amo Raju said: “This grant from Barclays is great news for disabled people in Derby and testament to the efforts of our staff and volunteers who stepped way outside their job descriptions during lockdown to ensure vulnerable people who contacted us were not going without.

"Disability Direct will always adapt to the needs of our service users swiftly without compromise. Thank you, Barclays for recognising our work!"

One of Disability Direct’s clients, Mike Smith, said: “‘I think it’s fair to say that had it not been for the staff at Disability Direct, my mental health would have taken a turn for the worse.

"They provided me with masks and hand sanitiser which were hard to come by due to the massive demand at the time.

"Otherwise, I would not have been able to go outside to pursue my hobby of bird photography. Due to Disability Direct, I was not only able to protect myself but my carer too. This, without a doubt helped with my sanity, my health and well-being. Thank you so much!’”

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