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Lockdown support wings its way to disabled people across Gloucestershire

Posted on: 01/12/2020

Kieran Franks & Tim Butler from charity Goals Beyond Grass delivering a care package to George Palmer aged 12 from Cheltenham

Gloucestershire charity, Goals Beyond Grass, has hit the road to deliver care parcels which will benefit over 140 people across the county who are currently struggling with isolation during this second period of lockdown in England.

The charity, which primarily engages with local disabled people to provide sporting opportunities, has been working throughout the pandemic, adapting its support services to alleviate and reduce the isolation issues many people are experiencing.

All too aware of the isolation struggles experienced within its community, the charity spent time putting together care parcels which have been delivered to the charity’s football players including those with physical and learning disabilities, allowing them to benefit from a socially distanced chat.

The boxes, alongside online education courses, PPE and associated costs to move support online, have been made possible after Goals Beyond Grass received £4,320 from Wales & West Utilities Safe and Warm Fund.

The Safe and Warm Fund was designed to directly help those working in communities, targeting support at those who need it most.

We are delighted that the fund will now support so many organisations across our operating area, who like Goals Beyond Grass, are helping local communities respond to Coronavirus.

Seeing communities come together to face the challenge of Coronavirus has been fantastic – and everyone at Wales & West Utilities is excited to see these projects come to life and how they will make a positive impact on the lives of people most in need.

Graham Edwards, Wales & West Utilities Chief Executive

n light of Covid19, we’ve had to adapt rapidly to ensure everyone we support doesn’t get left out in the cold.

Pre-Coronavirus we ran a minimum of 10 hours of inclusive sports sessions a week, but often with our outreach programme taking sport around the county to schools, residential homes and day centres, this could be up to 30 hours per week.

We want to ensure that people don’t go through this time alone and, so we’ve adapted to offer online support, as well as regular quizzes, which enable people to stay in touch with us, their team mates and friends too. Our priority has, as always, been to support our participants, the powerchair football family and the wider community in the best possible way.”

Stopping our sessions has meant that we have lost significant revenue and put simply, without this funding, our community would be seriously disadvantaged.

I speak on behalf of everyone linked with Goals Beyond Grass to thank Wales & West Utilities for this lifeline. I know from delivering the care packages just how much these mean to our community.

During this time people want to have a chat more than ever but haven’t been able to do so. We are delighted that this money has allowed us to provide this service to help our community. Seeing such huge smiles on people’s faces, is wonderful.

Kieran Franks, Goals Beyond Grass Sports Development Manager

Wales & West Utilities set up the Safe and Warm Fund to help organisations and charities directly respond to the Coronavirus pandemic. The gas emergency and pipeline service has been working hard throughout the pandemic to make sure people are kept safe and warm in their homes and opened the fund to help others in communities across Wales and the south west of England do the same.