Rathbone Community Action team will tackle isolation among adults with learning disabilities
‘Kevin, like many people with disabilities, just wants to feel socially included,’ said the Rathbone team as they opened their pitch at King’s Civic Challenge.
‘He just wants to be a little more active and make a few friends. Sadly, when Kevin does leave his house, he’s forced to face the stigma of being a person with a disability. Kevin’s reported that when he does go out, he’s made to feel like he’s a burden.’
Loneliness and social isolation can affect anyone, but individuals with disabilities are likely to suffer the most.
The Rathbone team explained that Kevin’s day consists of collecting his newspaper from his local newsagent and listening out for the knock on the door from meals on wheels, hoping that it’s going to be the one lady who listens to him and asks him how he is doing.
Kevin is just one of around 37,000 people in Lambeth with a disability or long-term disease who is experiencing social isolation. The Rathbone Community Outreach project seeks to tackle social isolation among adults with learning disabilities.
The group will now use their King’s Civic Challenge grant to set up tailored volunteering opportunities within local charities. In doing so they aim to reduce loneliness, improve mental health and establish stronger community ties amongst participants.
We hope Rathbone Community Outreach will create a lasting legacy, leading to an increase in volunteering opportunities for disabled individuals in Lambeth and resulting in improved health, friendships and, in some cases, employment.
Andrew Preston, Chief Executive Officer, Rathbone
‘People like Kevin are among the most vulnerable in society,’ said the Rathbone team. ‘We hope our project will reduce stigma among those with learning disabilities and build community ties.’
Georgia Harvey and Charline King from Rathbone with Melissa Fitzpatrick (BA History), Faculty of Arts & Humanities, Ella Jalba (Public Health MPH), Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine and Mouktika Ayyagari (MSC Mental Health Studies), Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience.