The coronavirus pandemic cut the value of Delamere Charitable Trust’s investments, reduced its income and thwarted its plans to build up its fundraising from the Manchester Jewish community. Nonetheless, the Delamere trustees have decided that the needs of Manchester Jewish children with special educational needs and disabilities are paramount.
They have recently agreed to continue funding seven key provider partners so as to allow them to maintain their invaluable services for children with learning disabilities for a further year. After school clubs, Special Spirits and Club Tikva, will be able to continue to support their members during the lockdown with a blend of telephone, mailed activity packs (example in photo) and online support supplementing their ongoing (but lockdown restricted) club meetings. JSENSE has adapted its training and consultancy support for Jewish schools and families by switching to an online model because of the lockdown but at least this is helping it to reach new parts of the local SEND community.
Bury and Whitefield and North Cheshire Jewish Primary Schools have both been funded to enable them to continue vital extra specialist support services for their pupils with special needs. OYY Lubavitch Boys School will further develop the innovative range of learning disability support services which they provide to an increasing number of Jewish schools, children, and their families. Mesivta School, which previously benefited from Delamere funding for its special SEN Centre and for a Sensory Therapeutic Garden, are now being funded to equip music therapy and sensory rooms to help their SEN pupils who are particularly upset by the coronavirus epidemic.
“This has been a really challenging period for our charity” reported Delamere Chair, Malcolm Joels. “All our careful plans, including those for our major centenary reunion and exhibition, have had to be abandoned until the pandemic restrictions can be removed, whenever that will be. However, we felt we just had to go on supporting our existing provider partners, even although our financial capacity to fund future gaps in learning disability services has inevitably been cut.”
The charity hopes to be able to move into recovery mode at some time next year but only when the current uncertainties, not to mention the financial consequences, are behind it. In the meanwhile, donations and financial support from the Manchester Jewish community would be highly appreciated.