Takeover Tuesday – ILEAP

Each week, we’re inviting one of the many charities or community groups in Stratford to takeover our social media for the day with a series of posts outlining what they are doing during the COVID-19 pandemic to show our support. The full case study will appear here on our blog.

This week, we hear from ILEAP, a charity for people with Additional Needs. Here, Peter Bazeley, CEO, tells us how they have adapted their service while they are unable to deliver activities face to face.

How have you adapted the services you provide during the Covid-19 pandemic?

ILEAP is all about empowering vulnerable members of the community so that they can meet up with friends in a safe environment whilst accessing community facilities.

Since the 16th March 2020 all of our activities had to stop immediately leaving our members isolated and confused.

We immediately launched Call 4 All to try and explain the situation to our members and to check on their wellbeing and find out if they needed any help and support.

Following this we began to deliver a weekly activity video via our website for our members to watch called Friday Fun for Everyone, and have managed to launch a new activity during every Friday of the lockdown.

Following this we worked with our partners to set up a number of weekly Zoom sessions that our members could access to help them to stay connected and give them some purpose and structure to their day. We soon were delivering 10 Zoom sessions a week with activities ranging from Singing, Quiz Nights, Drama Projects, Arts and Craft activities, Dance and Exercise.

Our quick and innovative approach helped our Members to cope with the lockdown and focused on maintaining  their positive mental health.

To compliment the Zoom session we also deliver a weekly step by step activity that our Members can follow using everyday items from around the house. They are then able to post photos of their creations via our website and facebook page. This helps to keep them engaged with an activity and also with their mental health staying connected with their friends. In a safe and positive way.

Finally we worked with our partners to offer 1:1 Zoom sessions that individuals can book and utilise the skills of a facilitator who will identify personal goals and help the individual to achieve them. The 1:1 sessions can also be done with a friend making them 1:2 or 1:3 small group work.

What’s the key thing that has surprised/pleased you?

How quickly we were able to adapt and the innovation and dedication of our specialist staff who have worked tirelessly to maintain some kind of normality for our members and equally the way that our Members have embraced technology and their enthusiasm and motivation to engage with the friends on a supported and safe platform.

We will continue to deliver in this way going forward and hopefully the new normal will be a mix of the new and the old to provide the best possible outcome for our members old and new.

What are the biggest challenges you are facing?

All of our income came to a stop on the 16th March 2020 and so the financial challenges facing the Charity are immense.

We are quickly using our free reserves and are accessing Covid Response grants as soon as they become available.

We anticipate Easter 2021 to be the tipping point for our Charity and hope that we can access additional funding through individual charitable trusts to weather the storm whilst reducing costs where we can and launching new user led initiatives that help to generate income.

Can you give an example describing the impact you’ve made on an individual/group of people?

We have collated the anecdotal evidence post Covid which highlights how our efforts have been received:

  • Zoom sessions are a great idea, my Son is loving them. He tried several this last week inc drama on Thurs and wants to continue so I’ve booked the next couple of weeks.
  • Our Son is enjoying these sessions a lot. Rosie is terrific and it’s given him some confidence to get up and keep mobile.
  • Hi Pete. Great. Our Son really enjoyed last session. Good idea👍
  • Hi, I really enjoyed the ‘singalong’ online activity today. It was good to see friends and some new faces.
    Thanks to everyone ,
  • Thank you our Son enjoyed listening to this, would you mind showing us the book too x
  • Brilliant idea. Thank you from Adam 👍
  • Had the best chats with everyone . Marketability Members in particular!!
    Some members needed help to get food. I have sorted them. Feel like it was worth while ! 
  • The Zoom Drama is going great and I’m really enjoying and the Friday night quiz. 👍🏻
  • Hi Pete, Rosie is great with our Son. He’s enjoying the 1:1 sessions and is a lot more confident. Back to reading and drawing. Less PS4. Hope you’re doing ok.


  • Hi Pete, Just to let you know how much my Daughter is really enjoying the online sessions put on by SPOT Drama. I can hear her laughing in the next room, it is fantastic that at this time there can be so much happiness spread by Rosie and Lydia.
  • Thank You on behalf of all our young people for the work you and your staff put in
  • Our Grandson is definitely enjoying the online sessions.
  • We are really enjoying these sessions.
  • First of all I would like to say a big thank you to ileap and Spot Drama for the fantastic Zoom activities that are available for our young people during these difficult times, my son has taken part in many and enjoyed everyone.
  • The zoom sessions have been a Godsend. My Son is able to keep in touch with his friends and able to exercise his mind at the same time. It was a brilliant idea! many thanks.”

Facts about who you have helped and how

Since 17th March 2020 we have delivered:

278 events

1645 attendees

This is often overlooked by the powers that be, as a Charity we do so much to support those who may be isolated and vulnerable because of their learning disability that with out our service they would be left vulnerable and isolated and forgotten.

What could the community in Stratford do to support you?

Help us to spread the word, we get very few referrals from Social Workers and rely on word of mouth and through ours and our partners networks.

We need fundraisers and volunteers and all the help we can get to sustain ourselves in these unprecedented times


Useful info and contact details

 For info on ILEAP and to become a Member please visit www.ileap.co.uk

Email us on sparkle@ileap.co.uk

Follow us on facebook www.facebook.com/ileapcharity