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Funding helps us continue vital support for families during pandemic

Friday 22nd May 2020

We are pleased to announce that we've been awarded just under £148,000 by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to help us continue our vital work supporting families with children with autism and/or learning disabilities during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Contact is one of seven charities to be awarded funding as part of the Government's plan to boost the capacity of third sector organisations supporting autistic people, people with learning disabilities and complex needs and their families and carers in response to the coronavirus situation.

The funding is part of an overall £6m funding commitment by the government to support people with mental health needs, cancer, learning disabilities and autism.

Amanda Batten, CEO of Contact, says: "Families who care for children with autism and/or learning disabilities are undoubtedly feeling the strain during this pandemic. They play a vital part relieving the pressure on social care and the NHS, and it's vital they are not left behind and allowed to reach crisis point.

"The families we support have always faced immense challenges, but Covid-19 has exacerbated these in an unprecedented way. Families tell us their disabled children are struggling with changes to their routine, and we are concerned about the impact the lockdown is having in terms of anxiety, challenging behaviour and their longer term development.

"Respite, therapies and care arrangements have been largely stopped or changed. So many parents are caring throughout the day as well as night, day in and day out, which is having a huge impact on their physical and mental wellbeing.

"We welcome today's funding announcement, and we will use the funding to support more families that need us in this time of emergency through our national helpline and online information and advice services, and on a local level through our family support teams in London and our work with the network of parent carer forums."