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Leonard Cheshire and Mencap win £5m Covid-19 Support Fund

Leonard Cheshire Trains

The Covid-19 Support Fund has selected the final recipients of its donations, giving millions in funding to both Mencap and Leonard Cheshire.

The fund was launched by players in the insurance and long-term savings industry last year to help those with the greatest need.

Leonard Cheshire is a health and welfare charity launched in 1948 and specialising in aiding the disabled to live independently.

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Meanwhile, Mencap works with people with learning disabilities in the UK and was established in 1946.

The decision to award the pair of charities the funding comes after it was revealed that 65% of disabled people said the pandemic was affecting their wellbeing, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

With the money, Leonard Cheshire will expand its skills development programme ‘Can Do’ for those between 16 and 35 and who have a disability or long-term health condition.

The donation will enable it to run for the next three years in multiple locations across the UK, the charity said.

Mencap will allow people with learning disabilities to have an input in Covid recovery planning and development of new ways of working across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Over three years, 36 people with a learning disability will be employed to lead activity that makes their community a better place to live.

Colm Holmes, chair of the Covid-19 Support Fund governance committee and global CEO of general insurance at Aviva, said: “Over the past year people with disabilities have endured long periods of isolation and seen a reduction or withdrawal in the services they rely on.

“We’re indebted to Leonard Cheshire and Mencap for their work and thrilled that this donation from the Covid-19 Support Fund will have a lasting impact for people with learning disabilities and their communities around the UK.”

Ruth Owen, chief executive of pan-disability charity Leonard Cheshire, said: “The pandemic has disproportionately taken its toll on disabled people and we now have an opportunity to begin working towards an inclusive recovery.

“This significant donation enables us to continue funding Can Do, a community programme that offers opportunity at a time when disabled people need it most.

“We’d like to thank the Covid-19 support fund for enabling Leonard Cheshire to carry on nurturing inclusive communities across the UK.”

Tags : avivaleonard cheshiremencap
Sam Lewis

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