It seems that no aspect of life is safe from the impact of covid-19 at the moment. And that includes Reach. The impact of social-distancing and self-isolation will affect our charity both in terms of the impact on fund-raising and, especially, in making it impossible to organise meet-ups in the near future. Social media seems full of people saying that we just have to put up with this for the greater good, and that’s true, but we also know how important meet-ups are for Reach families. For the parents, they provide an opportunity to connect and share experiences with others. And, even more importantly, for the children they provide contact with other children who have similar differences to them – the power of ‘look, she’s got the same hand as me’ or ‘I’m at Reach – I can take my jacket off and relax’ is really valuable. So what can we do about it?
In terms of fundraising, which is crucial for the organisation’s survival, the board will be looking at different ways of raising funds for the charity in the absence of things like the London marathon etc. If you have ideas, please do feed them in (email@example.com). These are difficult times, and lots of us will be feeling the pinch, whether this is because our income has dried up overnight or because we are facing additional costs because of the restrictions on working and travelling and getting to school. But if there are ways of helping us to sustain the charity’s income, we need to look for them.
Could you put your thinking caps on please. Every little helps. As for finding a substitute for the meet-ups, that’s even harder. But please make use of our closed Facebook group to maintain contact across the Reach community. Use it to seek advice, share worries, share successes and in particular share photos and videos of your wonderful Reach children living life without limits.
Older Reach kids and Reach young adults, this is definitely where we need your help. I was looking at some old videos of how to do the cup song with limb differences and wondered whether we could do some updated videos for the covid-19 era. How about some videos showing how to wash your hands properly? None of the official ones have anything useful about making sure you’ve got in between the wee nubbins really really properly, or how to use your little arm to wash your other hand – that’s definitely a gap in the market. And are we all singing Happy Birthday twice or do you have another song or a poem that you use? Anyone using Reach For The Stars? How many great songs are there to wash our hands to?
Most importantly, stay safe. Particularly those Reach members who are also working on the front line in the health services or otherwise helping to keep our countries running.
Look forward to seeing you on the other side.
Clare Salters On behalf of the Board of Trustees and Head Office