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Charity creates plan to help people with learning difficulties survive the winter months

PUBLISHED: 16:01 13 February 2019 | UPDATED: 16:02 13 February 2019

Hayley Burwood creating the My Winter Plan booklet. Picture: Opening Doors

Hayley Burwood creating the My Winter Plan booklet. Picture: Opening Doors

Archant

They have seen people arrive without socks, depressed or unable to leave the house.

The booklet has been made to help people with learning disabilities through the winter. Picture: ArchantThe booklet has been made to help people with learning disabilities through the winter. Picture: Archant

But now a charity is helping people with learning difficulties to prepare for the winter as the cold months set in.

Opening Doors has created My Winter Plan to allow those with learning difficulties to plan ahead incase heavy snow hits the region or they are unable to get out.

The Norwich charity is user based being ran by those who use and have support from it. The plan was created by the team with Easy Reading used throughout so it can be understood by anyone.

Hayley Burwood, 41, from Norwich, helped to create the plan.

Hayley Burwood and Oliver Marshall who created the booklet. Picture: ArchantHayley Burwood and Oliver Marshall who created the booklet. Picture: Archant

The mother-of-one said: “It has been created by people with learning disabilities for people with learning disabilities.

“We have been doing loads of different work and coproduced it along with the staff.

“Last winter there was a lot of problems and people couldn’t get out, stuck indoors, the office and shops shut.

“The plan has been created to give people a lift and make sure people are planning ahead.”

The charity received funding from the Norfolk Community Foundation of about £5,000 to put towards the plan.

Ms Burwood has been going to Opening Doors for the past eight years. She said it has changed her life.

She added: “I was doing nothing, not going out. I just had so much time on my hands I was depressed a lot.

“But when I come here it gives me the opportunity to share my experiences and help other people who are in the same situation as me.”

The charity also takes part in winter warmer events where they hand out clothing to those in need. Recently the charity has hosted these in Cromer and Great Yarmouth.

“It covers a lot of things including feeling low, medication and getting shopping delivered,” Ms Burwood added, “staying connected is really important especially if you are feeling low.

“We had a lady turn up with no socks on so it is an issue. It’s reminding people what is appropriate for the weather.

“It is all about keeping independence, if it does snow they can look at the Winter Plan and see what to do.”

The plan can be downloaded at www.openingdoors.org.uk.

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