A group of individuals with learning disabilities and complex needs have been overwhelmed with support from the Halstead community during the coronavirus pandemic.
The individuals, who live at TLC Care and Support’s Blamsters Farm, a collection of seven residential homes at Mount Hill, have received numerous items for their brand new ‘pop-up shop’, which has been set up in a summerhouse in their grounds.
TLC Care and Support committed £150 to stock the summerhouse with sundries such as sweets, crisps, fresh fruit and cold drinks. Service Manager Sabrina Cross appealed for item donations from locals through Facebook and within hours received offers of CDs, jewellery and games.
Mandy O’Halloran, Operations Project Manager at TLC Care and Support, said: “Our residents loved exploring Halstead and its shops before lockdown, so our new ‘Over the Rainbow’ shop means they can safely enjoy browsing the variety on offer, thanks to kind local businesses and individuals.
“We help one resident at a time at the pop-up shop in order to carefully monitor social distancing measures and it provides them with a welcome change of pattern.
“Our team are very passionate about ensuring the individuals we support are at the heart of what we do. As the COVID-19 pandemic became more and more serious there was no hesitation in getting our thinking caps on to see what we can do to keep our residents happy and engaged.”
Blamsters Farm has also put up a Rainbow display at the bottom of its drive to showcase residents’ art in support of medical staff on the frontline of the outbreak, which residents made with craft kits donated by TLC Care and Support.
Care worker Sam Raz, winner of Innovation in Care at the Essex Care Sector Awards, also created an outdoor bowling alley at Blamsters Farm from various materials donated by businesses to replace residents’ usual weekly bowling trip.
Mandy added: “Our activities wouldn’t be possible without the support of a number of individuals and businesses over the last three weeks. This includes Tesco in Braintree that agreed the bulk purchase of 200 Easter Eggs provided by TLC Central Support team and delivered to the services on Easter Sunday, KFC in Braintree donating cooked chicken meals, plus The Hook fish and chip shop in Halstead donating over 60 cod and haddock fillets.
“We would also like to say thank you to Sainsbury’s in Halstead who rewarded our staff with bouquets of flowers, Eareys Butchers in Sible Hedingham, Lidl in Halsted and Prima Catering – as well as our staff for going above and beyond to ensure everyone has a good food supply.”