Being out and about, and taking part in group activities, is a key part of Zoe Tinsley’s usual routine. Zoe (43) is supported by not-for-profit Dimensions, and when lockdown came around, her support workers had to be creative to find opportunities to keep her active and connected to the community, whilst staying safe.
As a very clean and organised person, who likes tidying up wherever she goes, litter picking was a great solution. It has given Zoe a sense of purpose, when her other daily activities have been cancelled, and she is proud to be to positively contributing to the local community.
Zoe also loves animals and has enjoyed using her daily exercise to the walk the dogs of neighbours who haven’t been able to get outside during lockdown. She’s built up an especially close bond with a dog named Milo.
The last few months have been challenging for Zoe and others with learning disabilities across the country. Research by Dimensions has found that 65% of people with learning disabilities and autism have been worried about their daily routine changing during lockdown, and 66% worry about not knowing when things will go back to normal.
“It’s been bad because I couldn’t visit my sister or go to pottery, drama, church and swimming,” said Zoe. “But I’ve liked going on walks to Bournemouth with Chloe, walks on the beach, training and walking Milo, and doing messy arts and crafts with Sue.”
Zoe starts each day by doing yoga and meditation with her support worker Chloe Tyler, and has taken a keen interest in baking and gardening. She’s also been keeping in contact with her family via video call, and accessing online services from her church community.
Chloe said, “I’m really proud of Zoe for how she has coped throughout lockdown, especially in regards to not having her family visits and not having her usual routine, which is so important to her. Zoe has listened so well to all of the staff explaining lockdown and she has done what she has been asked to do to keep herself safe.”
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