Living Paintings Covid-19 Update
19th March 2020
In response to the impact of Covid-19 Living Paintings is putting the welfare and safety of its beneficiaries, volunteers and staff first and following the UK Government’s advice. We’re proud to share with you our latest news, projects and measures we have put in place in response to Covid-19.
Our library remains fully operational
Our free library of Touch to See books for blind and partially sighted people is more crucial than ever during these challenging and unprecedented times. We are proud and delighted that Living Paintings’ free postal library service for bind people, their families, carers and teachers, remains fully operational. Alison (pictured above) is working in the library to make sure new and existing library members receive their Touch to See books – picking, packing and dispatching, with a little help from Royal Mail.
We’re making sure that blind people of all ages can keep reading, learning and discovering during this time of isolation. And our educational range supports home-schooling – giving grown-ups the right tactile and audio tools, based on the National Curriculum, to teach their blind children at home.
Directly in response to Covid-19 we have identified and actioned 2 new projects to support the wellbeing of our beneficiaries and we have launched an urgent appeal:
Relax and Chat
Our aim is not only maintain the service we already provide, but also to increase the support we give to our older and particularly vulnerable library members. Keeping in touch over the phone is so important to blind adults living in isolation and even more so for those who do not have, or are unable to use, technology. So Relax and Chat is our new telephone service that offers a friendly ear and a catch up for our library members, one-to-one over the phone, with a trained Living Paintings volunteer.
Daily Sound Lounge
We’re continually working to develop new opportunities for online engagement, for all ages. So our new Daily Sound Lounge delivers more of our unique audio with story time, mindfulness, immersive soundscapes and much more. The Daily Sound Lounge is on SoundCloud, so free to access and listen to. Our programme schedule includes Mindful Monday, Tuesday trails for children, Wednesday Wonder for adults, Thursday Celebrity Spotlight and Friday Story time for little ones. New, previously unreleased, audio combines with the best of our back catalogue, plus a host of actors and famous names, resulting in fun and relaxing audio programmes for all ages.
Listen to our Daily Sound Lounge here
Urgent Appeal Launched
Demand for our service has increased dramatically in the recent weeks, and we are absolutely committed to continuing to provide our library service. But we are facing huge challenges including the loss of significant income from planned fundraising events. In response we have launched an urgent appeal to help isolated blind people during Covid-19.
A donation of £20 could provide an isolated blind person with Touch to See books for the next four months.
Find out why we are a “lifeline” for 4 year old Monty and his family, read Monty’s story here.
Discover why Danni thinks we deliver “boxes of magic”, watch Danni tell you more here.
Please donate if you can, and share with your friends, family and wider networks. Thank you.
Furthermore, we are continuing work on the following activities and measures:
* Contacting schools to ensure that their students continue to have access to our books during school closures.
* Stepping up our communications to ensure that as many blind and partially sighted people as possible are able to benefit from using our resources.
* Working with our Touch to See Book Clubs who are not able to meet in person at present, to ensure that Club members still have access to our books at their homes.
* Supporting our volunteers to be able to continue volunteering from home, and to ensure that they have the support that they need. Many of our volunteers are older people themselves who benefit from the social interaction and sense of purpose volunteering provides.
* Supporting and equipping our staff team to work from home.
Addressing the challenges will be difficult, particularly as our usual fundraising has also been impacted with the cancellation of fundraising events, but we are absolutely committed to being there for the thousands of blind and partially sighted people who we support.
You can find out more about our library here, or support our work here.