Brent scheme helping people with disabilities after Covid

Brent Mancap's Sharon O'Regan (centre) with (l-r) Eric, Simone, Taylor and Jentilal

Brent Mancap's Sharon O'Regan (centre) with (l-r) Eric, Simone, Taylor and Jentilal with vegetables and herbs tended to during weekly gardening sessions - Credit: Eleanor

A Brent disability charity has been included in the mayor of London’s new health inequality strategy. 

Brent Mencap supports people with learning disabilities and features in Sadiq Khan’s Health Inequality Strategy Implementation Plan.

Its BRACES  (Brent Reset: After-Covid Equality Support) Project features in the "healthy communities" section of the mayor’s plan. 

Sharon O’Regan, health engagement and support project manager at Mencap, said the project “will address health inequalities and concerns experienced by Brent people with long-term health conditions and disabilities”.

She said members of the community who have experienced long Covid or have shielded and do not consider themselves to have a disability are welcome to get involved in the scheme.  

Brent Mencap's BRACES team singing carols in December

Brent Mencap's BRACES team singing carols in December - Credit: Copyright is Simon Granger

“The project is about meeting the people, and I’ve done that by going out to all the Brent hubs and also Chalkhill Community Centre,” said Sharon. 

“We’ll be holding a weekly focus group so that people can have their voice heard, because Brent Council are very keen on having the view of the neighbourhood and of the community.”

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Feedback and evidence collected during the project will be used to influence decision makers and future policies.

Sharon said the project will make people a more aware of the support available. 

“Because there is a lot,” she said. “I believe there are over 490 small charities in northwest London, across the boroughs. 

“We take a neighbourhood, a community and a preventative approach. Really, it’s about getting people to be present in the now and having a place to go to.

“We’ve got lots of activities taking place, some of them are in our office - on the High Road - they’re all free, some of them are on Zoom … for example, words and feelings poetry, art, a garden club, yoga, and singing.”

The project will include training partner agencies in the Accessible Information Standard, which aims to make information clear and understandable to all. 

Sharon said: “If 2021 was the year of learning, I just believe that 2022 is the year of miracles.”