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Coronavirus: Derry centre for disabled puts measures in place for users ahead of lockdown easing

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A specialist centre for people with learning and sensory disabilities has started making provision to extend its services in anticipation of any possible easing of the current lockdown. (Ben Birchall/PA)

A specialist centre for people with learning and sensory disabilities has started making provision to extend its services in anticipation of any possible easing of the current lockdown. (Ben Birchall/PA)

A specialist centre for people with learning and sensory disabilities has started making provision to extend its services in anticipation of any possible easing of the current lockdown. (Ben Birchall/PA)

A specialist centre for people with learning and sensory disabilities has started making provision to extend its services in anticipation of any possible easing of the current lockdown.

For the past seven weeks Aspace2 in Londonderry has delivered an activity programme to trainees through remote access.

Daily sessions of yoga, Zumba, quizzes, art/upcycling, Spanish, musical improvisation, ceramics and mindfulness via Zoom have kept this group of vulnerable people occupied and active.

While these have been very successful, the strain of being away from the centre takes its toll on the people who use it every day which has led to staff revamping the centre in readiness if lockdown measures are relaxed.

Managing director of Aspace2 Martina Bell said: "The young people who use Aspace2 are at the cognitive level that they don't understand what is going on and this is very stressful for them.

"The facilities available at Aspace2 is the only environment that can provide relaxation and or the opportunity to regulate and reduce the anxiety they are going through now.

"The reality is that access to the centre and use of the multi-sensory gym or the training kitchen is so important to the people with learning, sensory or physical disabilities who come to us.

"We are now ready to provide these services as soon as the Government relaxes the lockdown because we have revamped the way in which they will be provided to include single use with extended thorough cleans."

Ms Bell added: "Within days of our centre having to close, our team had resource packs for 'doorstep drop-offs' for all our trainees including the delivery of IT devices for those who didn't have them so they would not be starved of our services and this will continue but reopening the centre is what needs to happen."

Belfast Telegraph