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Preston Advocacy Service for People with Learning Disabilities return to work!

Preston Advocacy Service for People with Learning Disabilities return to work!

Preston Advocacy Service for People with Learning Disabilities return to work!

Posted: 23/07/2021

Caritas Care's REACT team have returned to the office!


Caritas Care are thrilled to announce that Advocacy service REACT have returned to work this week after over a year away due to the pandemic.

Following Government guidance in March 2020, the REACT team were sadly all furloughed.  Manager, James Hughes was the only member of the team who continued to work to keep the project running.

At such an unprecedented time the wellbeing of the team was very important and James kept in touch with them all every other week. The team also checked in with each other and their wider networks via TEAMS and through Social media to make sure everyone was coping with the lockdown and staying safe.  It has been a really challenging time, but everyone returned to work on Monday 19 July 2021 and everyone at Caritas Care have been delighted to welcome them all back!

On Tuesday 20 July the team met up for the first time for a meeting and to have lunch together, the atmosphere was electric and everyone had really a good time catching up. Special thanks to Emma from Plungington Community Centre for a lovely lunch!

James Hughes, Manager said, “The React team have returned to work today for the first time in a long while and it’s like they never been away!”

Martin Layton, Learning Disability Service Manager said, “It was a delight to see everyone back together after so long and such a challenging time. The REACT Team have done a brilliant job in keeping positive during this time.”

Over the past year, James has also been working hard to ensure the REACT Service has kept everyone connected during the pandemic with The Keeping Connected Project. The project saw over 60 people writing letters or calling each other all over North West. Our REACT volunteer, Amanda has also run a weekly cinema club and a fortnightly quiz night, which have been really well attended.

REACT have also taken part in research in how COVID-19 has affected the lives of people with learning disabilities in conjunction with Manchester Metropolitan University.  This important piece of work will benefit many people with additional needs as we move out of the pandemic and look forward to a brighter future.

Here’s what the team had to say about being back with their team mates:

“It is good to be back at work seeing my work mates after so long.” David“Good to be back after 69 weeks.” Stephen“So good seeing everyone again.” Nat