HRH The Princess Royal has attended an event at the House of Lords to recognise the charitable projects that are enhancing the lives of people with learning disabilities despite the social care funding crisis.
An information and support service for family carers, a friendship and dating agency, and an employment programme are among the opportunities provided by Hft, a national charity supporting adults with learning disabilities. They enable people with learning disabilities to grow, learn new skills, form friendships and relationships and play an active role in their local communities. These services fall outside of the fees Hft receives from local authorities and are solely reliant on fundraised income and the support of volunteers to keep them running.
On Tuesday (5th June) HRH The Princess Royal joined more than 40 guests at the House of Lords to hear more about Hft’s charitable services. The event focused on the Family Carer Support Service, which offers specialist information to all relatives who care for a person with a learning disability, and its volunteering project.
On the day, HRH The Princess Royal had the opportunity to meet with representatives, including trusts, donors, corporate partners, staff, volunteers, family carers and people supported by Hft, who are involved in the organisation’s charitable services. Her Royal Highness also listened to a series of speeches, including the vision for the future of Hft’s charitable services which was outlined by Hft’s Chief Executive Robert Longley-Cook. This focused on sustainability, demonstrating innovation and ensuring best practice across the sector to enhance the lives of the people Hft supports. There was also the opportunity for guests to hear more about the vital role of the Family Carer Support Service and Hft’s volunteering project.
This was followed by a video about Hft’s charitable projects. This demonstrated the positive impact they have on the lives of people with learning disabilities and emphasised the need for fundraised income to keep them running.
Speaking after the event, Hft Chief Executive Robert Longley-Cook said:
“We are delighted to be joined by HRH The Princess Royal for our celebration event. As a dedicated and longstanding Hft Patron we welcome the opportunity to share how our charitable services are evolving.
“The money received from local authorities is the money people need to survive. Our charitable services are essential, for both the people we support and their families, because they make the difference between living and enjoying the best life possible.
“In a world where personal budgets are being reduced and charity income is being squeezed the need for these types of services is greater than ever. We are committed to making sure these services remain sustainable, provide value for money and continue to help transform the lives of the people we support and their families.”
Notes to editors
Hft is a national charity that creatively supports more than 2,200 adults with learning disabilities across England and Wales to live the best life possible. Services range from residential care to supporting people to live independently in their own homes – from a few hours a week to 24 hours a day. Hft also helps people with learning disabilities to take part in daily activities, make friends and develop relationships and to find work.
Established in 1962, Hft is funded in two ways: through local authorities, who fund vital support services, but also through donors, supporters and volunteers who enable us to find new ways to help more people to thrive rather than just get by.
For more information about Hft please visit www.hft.org.uk