Jigsaw Bury comprises of two sub-groups: Jigsaw and Jigsaw Link. The former is a sports and social group for young disabled people that promotes joy and independence, whilst the latter is a support service that helps disabled people over the age of 50 engage with others and make friends at weekly gatherings.
The charity currently operates out of Bury Business Centre where it utilises the surrounding area with great effect, such as using the adjacent green space to host picnics and games.
On the back of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jigsaw were unable to offer their regular support programmes as gatherings were banned for an extensive period. The charity took all necessary steps to ensure the health and wellbeing of all involved, but the cancellation of these events deprived the disabled members of the local community.
Ellen Smith, Coordinator at Jigsaw Bury, said: “After the lockdown eased, we knew how important our service would become. Several of our participants expressed feelings of isolation, loneliness and worry due to the restrictions.
“By bringing our community together we help to end this feeling of isolation and promote friendship, equality and aim to raise the self-esteem of all who attend. The need for social interaction with friends and peers in vital.
“This contribution from Barratt Homes will enable us to run six tea and coffee afternoons with activities such as quizzes, cake sales, music, bingo and board games, as well as vital medical equipment to help everyone associated with Jigsaw stay safe in what continues to be uncertain times.”
One of the charity’s main focuses is ensuring they have ties with the local community, with emphasis placed on working closely with schools and local authorities to ensure the health and wellbeing of the children.
Ellen added: “One of our major concerns is the ongoing sustainability of our service. The demand and, more importantly, the underlying need for our services has not disappeared, but we recognise that we must adjust our approach with a new strategy. For many people who access Jigsaw we are a main source of social contact – and for some, the only regular route to dependable social contact.
“Like other local charities, Jigsaw relies heavily on donations and funding grants from business and organisations. Support we receive, not matter how big or small, have a phenomenal impact to our small local charity and benefit the lives of young disabled adults in Bury.”
Neil Goodwin, Managing Director of Barratt Homes Manchester, said: “As a leading developer it is really important that we support the community in the areas in which we build.
“Jigsaw Bury are a vital part of the Bury community and offer a very noble service both in the support of the disabled and in the push for social equality. We at Barratt Homes are very proud to support the charity and encourage all those to do their part in giving back to their local area.”