Kisharon is appealing to the Jewish community for support in a fundraising campaign to ensure the charity retains the ability to offer vital front-line services for people with learning disabilities during the ongoing pandemic (May 2-3).

The charity is aiming to raise £1.5 million in 36 hours with help of Charity Extra where donations are doubled through match funding.

Kisharon supports people of all ages with a range of learning disabilities. The organisation plays an essential and critical role within the Jewish community from nursery to school, college and independent living support as well as employment and vocational opportunities.

Like many charities, Kisharon faced an unprecedented year with front-line services challenged to stay operational throughout the pandemic. Children isolated at home, young adults losing employment overnight and an extraordinary increase in family demands, meant Kisharon were stretched beyond any levels witnessed in its 45-year history.

Richard Franklin, Chief Executive observed, “This past year our team has gone above and beyond to ensure anyone relying on Kisharon could always be supported. We were forced to radically change our mindset to ensure people assisted, could not only survive but thrive and develop the necessary skills as well as resilience required in such uncertain times.

“Funding over the next 12 months is of great concern to Kisharon particularly given continued restrictions around fundraising combined with social care being omitted in the Chancellors recent budget. The consequences have impacted young parents struggling to support infants with often undiagnosed or unsupported developmental delay and in addition, risks reducing our ability to meet hard to reach young men and women leading increasingly isolated existences.”

He added, “Kisharon maintains front-line services in every sense, and our support teams have, in equal measure, surprised and inspired with their creativity, positivity, determination and can-do attitude. It is a precious positivity that sees abilities in the people we support and not their disabilities.”

Jane Pearl, regarding her son, noted, “Kisharon gives Chanochi the ability to learn and form meaningful relationships in extraordinary ways. He feels safe, happy and included no matter his mood, and Kisharon manages to capture his warmth in a true and unique fashion.”

The fundraising campaign, themed on ability, illustrates the value Kisharon places on each individual, as the father of Max, who lives in Kisharon’s supported living services recognises.

“The amazing support staff at Kisharon have worked tirelessly with Max to focus on improving his independent living skills, always ensuring that he has the ability to learn, to explore and to reach his potential,” he said. “With their constant support, Max shops for his weekly food, helps prepare his meals and as London begins to unlock, goes on daily trips. It is so encouraging to watch the progress Max is making.”

Kisharon’s ability to deliver front-line social care services depends on the communities ability to donate.