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New project in Preston aims to offer support for vulnerable disabled people during the pandemic

Posted on - 17th February, 2021 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Politics, Preston News
Disability Equality are aiming to help those with disability. Pic: Pixabay

If you’re living in Preston, are disabled, struggling during lockdown and need someone to talk to, then ‘Disability Equality’, a new project may be just what you are looking for.

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The Community Link Worker project has been funded by the National Emergency Trust in partnership with Disability Action.

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It aims to establish contact with relevant partner organisations and disabled people with Preston and the surrounding areas, ensuring key messaging around lockdown regulations is clear, consistent and accessible to disabled people, regardless of backgrounds and community/identity.

The project seeks to reassure disabled people, check on their welfare and coping strategies, sign-post and refer to relevant, specialist agencies where needed, and to support disabled people to report and redress the injustices they may have experienced during the pandemic.

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This project is particularly targeting those who are already vulnerable to hostility and prejudice: the Gypsy, Romany, Traveller (GRT) community, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender community (LGBT+), Refugee and Asylum Seekers and Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities as well as the general population and those living in areas of high social and economic deprivation.

There is also support available to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community within Preston and surrounding areas.

The project is working with existing groups who support minority communities and disabled people across Preston, ensuring disabled people have majority representation in the work and direction the project is taking.

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During the pandemic, disabled people have become more isolated than ever. Since lockdown began in March 2020, Disability Equality has had extensive contact with disabled people – including 32,000 welfare
calls and texts involving 4,500 people.

When lockdown began, the government message was clear: Stay home, stay safe, but in recent weeks and months, there has been an increasingly confusing picture emerging for disabled people to navigate.

In particular, the localised lockdown measures, ‘fake news’ and general mixed messages have had a significant impact upon disabled people.

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There has also been a spike in disability related hate crimes, largely relating to the mandatory use of face coverings in public places and on public transport.

If you are disabled, living in Preston and need someone to talk to, then email Disability Equality.

If you are Deaf or Hard of Hearing then you can email here.

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