WHO ARE MACINTYRE AND WHAT DO THEY DO?
MacIntyre is a national charity set up in 1966 by the parents of a severely disabled child. Over 50 years on,
the organisation is a leader in the field of learning disability, providing services for over 1,200 children,
young people and adults with the most profound disabilities in our society. MacIntyre’s services include
residential care, supported living, a residential school, further education and a wide range of lifelong
MacIntyre’s vision is for all people with a learning disability to live a life that makes sense to them.
WHAT WAS THE PROBLEM?
It’s a very sad fact that those with a learning disability are at greater risk of contracting Covid-19 and of
experiencing more severe symptoms. This is due to their often underlying health conditions, which can
range from diabetes and epilepsy to heart disease.
As a consequence, it became clear on lockdown that many people supported by MacIntyre would need to
isolate for longer than the government mandate stipulated, resulting in not seeing friends and family for
MacIntyre’s residential services for those with learning disabilities and /or autism were at this time
covering four residential centres with sixty people. These individuals were really struggled to maintain
relationships with friends and family as they had no devices to allow them access to virtual
WHAT DIFFERENCE DID THE APPEAL AWARD MAKE?
Access to an awards appeal for MacIntyre meant access to technology. The purchase of iPads has meant
that those that they support can not only see their friends and family but also access online activities and
virtual groups and take part in some of their normal lifelong learning activities.
Across Milton Keynes people can now access a range of online activities – from Joe Wicks and dance
classes to learning experiences – and a variety of other online activities include virtual discos, storytelling
People can keep in touch with their friends and family, using video calls instead of just phoning. These
iPads enable those that MacIntyre support to engage in regular activities and different ways of keeping in
touch – from online friendship groups to virtual meals with their families.
“The iPads have made a massive difference for the people we support in Milton Keynes. They have
enabled people to stay connected with the family and friends that they have not been able to see
in person. We have also been able to use them to support people to connect to online activities,
which have included social events and online learning. Access to technology has made such a
positive impact and helped to support inclusion and connectivity. They’ve helped us to keep people
Area Manager, Milton Keynes