Empanda aims to provide a range of person centred, outcome focused care and support services for vulnerable people, including supported housing, respite and day care services, all delivered holistically. All the services they provide endeavour to improve service users’ self-esteem and help them to develop greater confidence. The dedicated team empowers service users to identify and achieve their personal goals and aspirations.
Empanda’s day services closed in March and are now preparing to re-open. It has been particularly difficult for day care customers during lock down. Some live alone and have been isolated from friends and family members only seeing their carers who pop in to support them with meals, medication and personal care. Others live with a family member or partner who have had no respite from their caring role throughout lock down.
The tail lift on one of Empanda’s minibuses was no longer usable and needed replacing, which would have particularly impacted wheelchair users. A grant from the Suffolk Coronavirus Community Fund enabled Empanda to replace the tail lift in order to provide transport to the day care centre, ensuring the service is accessible to all. With social distancing, Empanda can only take a few customers at a time on each minibus, so having both vehicles fully operational is vital in order to offer vulnerable people transport to and from the centre.
We were thrilled to learn that our application to Suffolk Community Foundation’s Coronavirus Community Fund for the cost of a replacement minibus tail lift at All Hallows Day Centre, had been successful. As our day centres have been closed for six months, we could not have prioritised the expense of a new tail lift so we are indebted to the Foundation for their generosity and we know that this will make a real difference to some of the most vulnerable people in our community.