Still Going Strong
If you're not familiar with 'the Federovits project', it's one we have been supporting for more than two decades and they're still going strong! Ira, who runs the project, beams with a look of love every time we ask how her young people are.
“We are all one happy family, who love spending time together, encouraging and teaching each other things - whoever ends up in our family wants to stay there!” she says.
The happy family she refers to are adults with learning disabilities for whom she provides a daily workshop which gives respite to their full-time carers. Most have autism and would not be employed by a mainstream employer. This group was set up over 20 years ago by Ira’s late husband Yuri who rightly believed that, despite learning difficulties, everyone had the potential to learn and a lot to give. Although Ira is getting on in years, she is desperate not to give up on this supportive community.
There are 11 regulars and all have a family member at home to care for them. Many are elderly and sadly, all are in poverty. They live on pensions as low as £215 per month that are expected to support them all.
The day-to-day work that Ira arranges for her apprentices keeps them busy making bags and book-binding - and for this, they get a small payment. Their latest fun activity is making baskets from paper which is great for their motor skills. It's their absolute favourite and they've made hundreds!
Tolyk who is 20 is the most recent addition to this group. He loves to cook and is looking forward to teaching his new friends how to cook too! Ira is excited to arrange this session where they can add to their skills and grow in confidence.Though many of her group are capable of learning, they still have difficulties, and coping alone would not be possible. They are mentally young - "They play, have fun and love sweets like most children", she says. "It would be a big strain on their families, who are getting elderly if they were at home all the time".
Thank you to each of you who support the running costs of this special group. They are thriving because of the help they get. Our support goes towards equipment, food and drink, and wherever it is needed most.