Charity's £400,000 target

PUBLISHED: 17:00 22 April 2011

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Charity's £400,000 target

A CHARITY for adults with learning disabilities in North Somerset is hoping to raise £400,000 to provide new equipment and activities for the people it helps.

Brandon Trust helps people with learning disabilities to live independently and play an active part in their communities.

Staff support people living in their own homes and local authority houses in Clevedon and Portishead and the charity also runs residential care homes and nursing homes.

Its helps people to become part of their community by gaining life skills, jobs and educational opportunities.

The charity receives most of its money through contracted work with social services, but to pay for any extras such as specialist equipment and leisure activities it needs to raise extra cash.

Brandon Trust spokesman, Steve Day, said: “We want to do more innovative projects, which have to be funded separately, such as specialist technology, which is very important for people with profound learning difficulties but very expensive. “We also organise summer camps for young people with learning and physical disabilities, which is quite expensive so we have to fund-raise for that.”

Specialist equipment can range from voice synthesisers to help people communicate, to TV remote controls with larger buttons and handsets to help people disabled people to close their curtains and dim the lights from their bed.

The charity has also just started offering short breaks for people with learning disabilities.

Brandon Trust owns a bungalow in Clevedon, kitted out with specialist equipment and staff, so people can visit and enjoy a short holiday while their carers enjoy a break.

Banwell Pottery is run by people with learning disabilities, who sell their products at festivals and fairs. And on Monday the charity runs a cafe at Barcode in Weston to enable people to meet up and socialise.

Mr Day added: “I think the work we do is really critical. Up until about 10 years ago people with learning disabilities in the UK had very little choice about how they could access the community and many people with learning disabilities were literally stuck behind closed doors and in institutions.

“People with learning disabilities didn’t really get the same opportunities as the rest of society, but actually they have lots of things to offer us and they can take an active part in their communities so we are about empowering people to be active citizens.”

Over the next year the charity hopes to reach its fund-raising target by encouraging 500 people to become regular donors and recruiting more volunteers. To find out how you can support the charity visit www.brandontrust.org

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