Kingston Centre for Independent Living’s (KCIL) mission is to provide information, advice and support to all disabled people living in the Royal Borough of Kingston and the surrounding areas and to empower them to have a voice, take control of their lives, and be treated equally.
KCIL opened their office on the high street on 29 June - one of the first voluntary organisations in Kingston to do so, with strict social distancing protocols and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in place to protect both staff and visitors.
As long as people call ahead of time and make an appointment, KCIL are happy to have visitors to their office (though KCIL has received a few unexpected visitors!). Some of their staff have chosen to work from the office, whilst others - some of whom are shielding - are working from home to support service users.
KCIL have communicated via telephone and Zoom with hundreds of their service users through April, May and June carrying out ‘wellbeing’ checks.
They continue to actively help some service users, who require help with every day living tasks, to recruit their Personal Assistants. KCIL has also restarted their Holiday Grants Scheme where they help disabled people with the costs of going on holiday. They are proving very popular, as people start to think about taking a break away from their homes.
Jason Lamont, Chief Executive Officer, at Kingston Centre for Independent Living says: "During lock down the team have been providing support to vulnerable, isolated disabled residents and have held weekly online competitions for prizes, weekly information newsletters keeping everyone up to date with Government and Local Authority guidelines, regular ring round sessions to ensure no one feels alone, and where possible have distributed food and PPE to residents in the local area."