Enrych is an organisation that empowers adults living with a disability to live the most active and independent life possible through their team of personal assistants and volunteers.
Enrych currently have around 130 members in the Aylesbury Vale area. As well as supporting individuals through carefully matched partnerships with a volunteer, they run various monthly pub socials, a craft and chat session and photography group in addition to arranging outings for our members.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Enrych have had to greatly modify their activities. Instead of their usual outings, the coordinator has organised zoom activities instead, including informal chats, quizzes, a magic show and beginners sign language. They have also supported their members during lockdown with shopping or collecting prescriptions and running any little errands.
Case study – Graham
Graham lives alone in a rural area of Aylesbury Vale. He enjoys company but doesn’t get any visitors and doesn’t have any family. Graham doesn’t drive because of his disabilities so has to rely on catching a bus. He feels socially isolated due to this and feels he has no one for support or companionship.
Graham has a visual impairment and he also suffered from a head injury as a child that has affected his speech and cognitive abilities. As a result Graham suffers with depression and confidence issues. Graham doesn’t attend any social activities due to a lack of confidence and trust in people. Graham used to love art prints, selling antiques and attending auctions none of which he now feels is possible. Graham would love to have a male volunteer to share his interests with and to have someone to chat with down the pub.
Graham was referred to Enrych just before lockdown but has not yet been paired with a volunteer due to a lack of male volunteers; this is something Enrych are trying to change. Throughout the lockdown the coordinator has spoken to Graham most weeks, sometimes finding him tearful and once even suicidal, mainly because of social isolation and not being able to go out and about as he wants. As soon as Enrych felt it was safe enough they invited Graham to attend a pub lunch. On that day his tears were of joy! They could see that Graham was enjoying himself and his general confidence and demeanour definitely improved that day. A volunteer will really make a difference to him and their aim is to find the right volunteer as soon as possible.
“Thank you so much Victoria (Enrych), you have done so much more for me than you will ever know. You have saved my life” – Graham