This week it is Leaning Disability Week, an annual campaign run by Mencap to raise awareness of what life is like living with a learning disability. This year, Mencap want to show how people with a learning disability are reconnecting with friends and their communities, after the end of COVID restrictions.

Our Colleagues Ami Law, Phoebe Ralston and Olivia Williams having been getting to know the Snappy Trust members and staff. In support of Learning Disability Week they visited the Trust to find out how they were impacted by COVID restrictions and what they are doing to get back to normal.

The impact of COVID

At the start of the pandemic, an indeed throughout, The Snappy Trust had to think on their feet about how they could continue to support their members and their families. The Snappy Trust had to adapt as whilst many of us remained in the safety of our own homes, the doors to The Snappy Trust stayed open.

The impact of COVID upon the members, families, staff and volunteers at Snappy was huge. Everything was affected, from considering how to manage volunteers and staff, to introducing mask wearing and social distancing. Principally, Snappy wanted to make sure that key workers, their families and their children and young adults were supported during a challenging and frightening time.

One of the first things to consider at the start of the pandemic was the volunteers and whether they could continue to attend the sessions. The fantastic volunteers at Snappy are invaluable and help Snappy to create and run their wonderful projects.

Anne Stamp, Service Manager at The Snappy Trust, told us that at the beginning of the pandemic, they had to take a vote on whether to continue asking their volunteers to attend the sessions. Snappy rely heavily on their fantastic volunteers and therefore it was no easy decision to ask the volunteers not to attend Snappy during the pandemic, due to the risks to the volunteers, the staff, the members and their families. Instead, the staff at Snappy formed a bubble. The staff didn’t see their own friends and families, but focused their whole attention on Snappy and being able to continue to welcome their children and young adults.

They observed all the usual rules of the pandemic such as mask wearing and social distancing. However, whilst many of us took this in our stride, the introduction of mask wearing and social distancing was a slow process as some of their members were confused and frightened by the changes.

The staff wore full PPE, including masks during the pandemic, and until very recently. Some of their children and young adults still feel more comfortable if the staff and volunteers wear masks, so when spending time with those members, masks are still worn. Some children also chose to wear a mask during the peak of the pandemic, whilst some still choose to wear a mask today. One particular young adult at Snappy chooses to wear 3 masks at a time because he is so terrified. They spent a lot of time working on social distancing and during the summer they enjoyed social distancing picnics in groups of six.

The Snappy Trust continued to welcome their children and young adults, both face to face at their centre, and virtually with some of their senior members who were unable to attend in person. Not only did they continue with their weekly sessions, but Snappy also put on extra activities for those children who weren’t able to attend school, or young adults who were unable to stay at home. Those who are extremely vulnerable were even visited at home by the fantastic staff who provided some respite for parents who were then able to take some time to themselves.

The yearly tradition of Christmas presents and Easter eggs were maintained by staff delivering them to their members at home. They found ways to adapt to ensure they could deliver their service in the safest way possible.

Snappy and their members are still feeling the effects of the pandemic today and because they remained open, they observed first-hand the effects the pandemic had on their children and young people. Anne Stamp described the fear that their members had about the pandemic by likening the pandemic to a “monster”.

With the dedication of its members The Trust was able to remain open and it has provided an invaluable lifeline to its members during the pandemic and beyond.

How are we supporting The Snappy Trust?

The work undertaken by The Snappy Trust is inspiring. They are the only charity in the York area for children and young people with disabilities and they have helped, and continue to help children and young people to build confidence and friendships.

Ison Harrison are very proud to support The Snappy Trust. One of the ways we are supporting the charity is by being a member of their Club 100. The Snappy Trust Club 100 if a fundraising initiative designed to support annual funding for the charity through York’s business community. By being one of their Club 100 members, we are dedicated to making an annual donation to help The Snappy Trust achieve their ambitions.

If you would like to read more about The Snappy Trust and the work that they do, or if you would like to get involved, please visit their website at

Share this...