Disability Networks| Covid-19 Blog Series| August 2020

In today's Blog, charity Chamber member Disability Networks share with us how they responded to local lock down.

Date: Friday 14 August 2020

14th August 2020

Disability Networks weathers Covid 19 global lock down

In today's Blog, charity Chamber member Disability Networks share with us how they responded to local lock down.

The volunteers at Disability Networks responded to this crisis during the first few weeks of local lockdown by improving the charity website www.disabilitynetworks.info . We updated the mental health section and added a debt section on the finance page on the charity website. The charity costs had been kept low ready to operate a rather different way to raise donations. The lack of financial burdens was an enormous relief at this point in time. However the charity was impacted by the drop in the value of sterling against the dollar as we were just placing an order for a beach wheelchair from the USA. Then the cost of freight had doubled by the time the chair was manufactured to our specifications within three weeks.

Our highly efficient freight firm recommended that we wait for the price to drop if we could get it stored. The manufacturers were brilliantly helpful and happy to store it in their office until further notice. Of course the island is now back to normal mostly and it would be super to see the chair on the beach being utilised by our less able residents. The freight price has dropped by £50 so far and we are now tossing up the choice of wheelchair here and raising donations or waiting for another £250 drop. That decision will be made by our Directors collectively very soon.

Our Facebook presence during lockdown proved to be a small challenge as we normally try to let people know what is going on locally. There was nothing going on apart from Government guidelines and we felt too many instructions were not good for our service users mental health. We decided to put some posts on but not overload people with “bad news” as everyone had quite enough to get their heads round.

We are delighted that Isle of Man Government were able to eradicate covid 19 promptly and now we can continue with our “normal” lives, though with the borders still closed. We better make the most of it and get out there, in case we get the predicted second wave of infection once they open.

On reflection, the crisis gave us the impetus to update relevant information which is a positive. Financially Disability Networks did not get away scot free but we have weathered the storm and look forward to the future helping people to find the information they need.