Response and Resilience Fund award: Walthew House

17 Jun 2020


Walthew House is an independent local charity supporting people living with a sight or hearing loss in Stockport and the surrounding area. It was awarded one of our Response and Resilience Fund grants in May 2020. The fund was set up to help organisations cover their ongoing costs in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

Fundraiser Shannon Gorman updates us on the impact it has had on their response services.

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Let me be honest about the devastating impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on Walthew House. Since our usual activities and services stopped, our organisation has been losing £8,000 a month in income.

However, we’re continuing to adapt to new and emerging needs by reworking existing projects and creating new ones. The support from Good Things Foundation has allowed us to continue to deliver these vital support services.

The Response and Resilience Fund award has helped us provide:

  • Over 750 social video calls from staff and volunteers
  • More than 60 tailored care packages
  • Online accessible exercise classes
  • Bulletins, including a range of local and national information in accessible formats
  • Emotional support and telephone counselling
  • Socially distanced guided walks

….and much more!

Our care packages are proving extremely popular. They’ve lifted spirits hugely. Packages have included: large print and tactile puzzle books and games, ‘treats’ – including a cheese pie from one gentleman’s favourite bakery, fresh flowers, chocolates, and magazines.

One person we’ve supported recently with help from the fund is Stockport resident Joe. Joe has a visual impairment and lives alone. Since lockdown, Joe has been accessing our ‘Walk My Way’ service, which provides socially distant walks for long cane users.

The service allows Joe to get out of the house and exercise without having to worry about breaking social distancing rules or bumping into objects around him.

From the feedback we've received from Joe, we know that ‘Walk My Way’ is about much more than this. It’s about face-to-face contact with another person, and the safety blanket a sighted guide volunteer can provide.

Joe says: “Today, the walk with a real live human being felt like I was being let out of prison. It made me realise how low my confidence had dropped in the last couple of months. Thank goodness for Walthew House. If it wasn’t for them and others like them reaching out to people in the way that they do, visually impaired people might as well give up completely.”

We really appreciate the continued support we have received from Good Things Foundation. The Response and Resilience Fund award has allowed our coronavirus response to become significantly more effective and we’re unbelievably grateful.