Whilst the effects of Covid-19 have been disruptive to everyone here in our region, the effects of school closures, medical equipment shortages and social distancing are further amplified for families of children with disabilities.
Our sunshine families are in desperate need of our support, now more than ever. People with disabilities may experience serious complications or death due to COVID-19, however this group was missed in messaging about at-risk populations, leaving them even more vulnerable.
Our children can be immunosuppressed meaning they don’t have the ability to fight infection effectively. The families and children we help can have problems such as severe respiratory conditions and breathing difficulties, many with tracheostomies that are at a high risk of infection. Our children may have neuro conditions which leaves them susceptible to further illness and Covid-19 poses an even greater risk.
Further, many of our children require medication, personal protective equipment (PPE, such as gloves and masks), home care, respite and rehabilitation services. These resources are currently scarce or unavailable given PPE shortages in communities, delayed or cancelled dispensing of medical equipment, cancellation of respite and group programs and the potential for staffing shortages.
Not only that, but with school closures, parents are struggling to manage children’s education while balancing childcare and work demands. Whilst we understand that this has been difficult for many parents, this may be particularly hard for parents of children with disabilities because learning and school participation are often supported by a team of professionals such as educational assistants and speech-language support and by specialized technology. Some of these supports have been discontinued, while others have been moved online, making them inaccessible to families that rely on this support.
Some children with disabilities will face greater challenges with online learning if there are inadequate accommodations while for others, online learning is simply not an option. Families of children with disabilities are also more likely to experience money worries which can include less access to the internet and technology. These children and their families are crying out for our help and support in these desperate times, and we need your help to be able to reach them.
Unfortunately, in these uncertain times we are unable to continue with our usual events and community fundraising initiatives, but our help is needed now more than ever. We rely solely on your support and generosity to provide our children with the specialist equipment they desperately need to live safely and comfortably.
If you are able to help children, right here in the North-East, please donate today. We understand that these are hard and trying times, and we appreciate your support and kindness so much.
Please text Sunshine5 to 70085 to make a one-off donation of £5 today, through your phone bill.