Cloverleaf Advocacy is a charitable organisation which delivers a range of statutory advocacy, independent mental advocacy programs and vital services to vulnerable communities such as those with learning disabilities based in North Lincolnshire.
Having identified ten vulnerable individuals aged between 30-70, who could have suffered from social isolation during the pandemic and lockdown period earlier this year, Cloverleaf Advocacy came up with an innovative idea for helping this group get connected, build friendship and hopefully reduce isolation.
Although some of the group were already part of the Cloverleaf Advocacy network, it was thought these individuals would also greatly benefit as they wouldn’t normally receive any formal support or daily visits from care workers during the lockdown.
The initiative involved giving each member of the group a smartphone. This would enable them to receive dedicated weekly 1-1 support from a nominated person, build friendship and trust in the group and also, allow them to join the group for a series of fun events such as weekly coffee and cake mornings.
Humber Aid supported Cloverleaf Advocacy by providing funding for the purchase of ten smartphones. All members were also provided with easy to read materials on how to use the phone and a timetable of forthcoming events.
Joanne Green, Cloverleaf Advocacy, commented “During the lockdown, we were very concerned about the potential impact of social isolation. The lockdown was a very confusing and worrying time for most, especially those who benefit from our work. We had to find a way to reach out to this group that would improve their confidence levels, so they felt comfortable speaking out, making sure their voices are heard and were also able to have some understanding of lockdown and how it might affect them.
Joanne continues “We approached Humber Aid for funding and were delighted when they agreed to support this project. With the aid of technology these individual’s confidence levels improved, have learnt new skills and social isolation reduced. This initiative helped to break down some barriers and the results were encouraging”.
Phil Shillito, Trustee, Humber Aid commented “When we spoke to Joanne and heard Cloverleaf Advocacy’s idea, we thought it was a great project and one that supported our vision to provide relief to those in need. This innovative project is just one way in-which Humber Aid supports locally based charities and not-for-profit community groups”.