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Award-winning Avenues project continues to inspire and motivate

‘Increased confidence’ and ‘being more connected in the community’ are just some of the participants comments reported in second year of the ‘It Takes 2’ (IT2) project.

Findings from Lottery-funded IT2, which supports those with a learning disability connect with others around similar interests, reveal almost two thirds of those involved have met the project goals, such as ‘spending less time at home’ and ‘feeling socially connected’.

 

The project currently supports 60 people living in the London boroughs of Bromley and Greenwich. At a time of great pressure on the adult social care sector, IT2 echoes Avenues goals of supporting better lives and promoting inclusion. Encouragingly, the majority of people, who started the project in year one, have continued to be involved in their community or have joined new activities. Project Evaluator Simon Goldsmith said “It has been heartening to hear that few of these people have now progressed into more regular volunteer work, full time further education and paid employment”.

 

IT2 has not been without its challenges which, according to Simon have included “fixed weekly routines such as attending day centres” which can “inhibit people from meeting new people”. In addition “poor health and clubs closing down” was also cited as a factor. However, he stressed, the project has helped build a number of ‘one-to-one connections’ based around everything from ‘baking’ to ‘health walks’. Additional work has also been done around things that stop people or create barriers and the findings are available in two additional reports.   

 

The project has been celebrated in two successful events. The Bromley community got together for a line-dancing event and there was also an enthusiastic reception to a ‘Bollywood’ night. In the coming year IT2 aims to build on the success of the last two, testing different ways people can get to know each other, whilst continuing to actively address the challenges encountered. It also hopes to learn more about building community alongside people with more complex needs.

Read more:

It Takes 2: Findings at the End of the Second Year 

Reducing Social Isolation & Increasing Social Wellness in Greenwich

Supporting People who have a Learning Disability to Find the Courage to Try