Project information

Learning Disabilities: Overcoming Isolation

Provide safe, friendly community drop-ins in Hampshire, where vulnerable people with learning disabilities, can access advice, support, make friends and feel valued. This reduces isolation, improves confidence and wellbeing: helping to overcome each person’s challenges in living a fulfilled life.

6 months to build on current venues and establish 2 new venues

Charity information: Minstead Trust

Minstead Trust logo
  • Need


    1.5m people in the UK have a learning disability. Many receive little/no statutory support, and don’t have family to help with everyday life. They’re judged too “able”, but in reality struggle to do things the rest of us take for granted: using transport, making friends, accessing the community/healthcare, dealing with tenancy issues, planning a structured, fulfilled life. Many lose confidence, spending more time just watching TV, becoming isolated – leading to health, social and housing issues.


    By providing an affordable weekly Drop-In (£3.50 per session), people with learning disabilities will have a regular structured activity in their life, where they can access a professional trained support worker for guidance about any issues and difficulties they are facing, as well as meeting others to enjoy social time and peer support. Having successfully launched 2 groups last year, we want to support more people and extend into 2 new locations in Hampshire; increasing our geographic reach.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To support more people by widening our community Drop-In sessions to two new locations


    » Locate and secure two new suitable and affordable venues in, for example, Romsey, Hythe or New Milton.
    » Appoint a fully trained care work professional to co-ordinate and lead all groups
    » Involve current beneficiaries in setting up new groups eg designing leaflets for community noticeboards, spreading the word locally etc.
    » Recruit volunteers to support each group

    What success will look like

    We will have opened 2 new groups with 10 people regularly attending each group. We will be supporting at least 40 people across all 4 community locations.

    Aim 2

    Offer a structured activity programme in all Drop-Ins, linked to professional support and guidance.


    » Deliver enjoyable and useful activities eg cooking, communication, craft, keep fit and invite local agencies to speak eg Community Police Officer
    » Offer support and guidance in response to specific issues that crop up each week
    » Provide ideas on other local resources, activities and support services that people might find useful.

    What success will look like

    People will choose to return to the group regularly and give positive feedback. Session reports identify learning outcomes for each activity and advice provided to individuals.

  • Impact


    The SCIE report Preventing Loneliness and Social Isolation Interventions & Outcomes 2014 states social isolation impacts on quality of life, with demonstrable negative health effects and increasing use of health and social care services. Our impact through regular support of 40 people will be reduced social isolation through: new friendships; positive weekly focus; resolved emotional issues and confidence to engage safely in community life. This is evidenced through weekly participant feedback.


    Failure to secure suitable premises – developing partnerships with local organisations
    Failure to reach potential beneficiaries – promotion through local networks, community noticeboards, advertising and leaflet drops.
    Securing trained leader – we are experienced in successful recruitment of community support workers and have an excellent employment reputation
    Securing volunteer support – we are well networked with local volunteer agencies and have 100% support record for current groups.


    An annual impact report will be available on our website We provide regular social media and newsletter updates. Where appropriate, donors will receive a personal communication on progress, to meet their communication requirements and be invited to visit the Drop-Ins.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £14,800

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £7,552 Salary and staff expenses Two trained professionals to cover four learning disability drop-ins.
      £3,478 Room hire Assumes three paid-for venues and one free of charge
      £1,830 Equipment Craft materials, cooking equipment and other resources
      £1,940 Management management oversight and monitoring and evaluation

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Participants attending Drop-Ins £4,800 Conditional
  • Background


    We support people with learning disabilities in Hampshire, Wiltshire and Portsmouth with residential care home, day opportunities and supporting people in their own homes to develop work and life skills and improve their health and wellbeing. Our main centre is based in the New Forest. We have Community Drop-Ins in Hampshire in Eastleigh and Totton and will explore new venues in Hythe, Romsey or New Milton.


    We have identified a need to additionally support people with learning disabilities who live in the community and who do not have sufficient funding to access regular day services or support. We anticipate approximately 40 people will benefit by attending this project from dispersed geographic areas around the New Forest and surrounds.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We’ve worked successfully with people with learning disabilities for over 30 years, progressing people from 24/7 support to more independent lives in the community. We support nearly 200 people, with strong governance and senior leadership and “outstanding” CQC rating. We are well networked with community support agencies. Our expertise unlocks the potential of each person to address their particular challenges and make progress towards their aims, as evidenced in a bespoke outcomes framework.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.



    Founder Drop-In participant and peer supporter

    Ophelia Matthias

    Staff instructor with expertise in advocacy and communications with people with learning disabilities

    Travis Musselwhite, Diploma Health And Social Care, Level 5.

    Head of Care, providing oversight for quality delivery. Expertise in safeguarding.

    Madeleine Durie, MBA, Diploma In Charity Management

    CEO managing strategic direction, Chair of Local Learning Disability Implementation Group, Partnership Board and networked with local agencies.