The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on our members. Here, two families share their experiences with their sons, Adam and Simcha, before, during and after lockdown.
‘When life returns to normal we need to make sure there’s still a Langdon.’
Shelley, mother of Langdon member Adam
“Langdon’s played a big role in Adam’s life for a long time now. He’s lived in Pears House, Edgware, for five years and before that he was at Langdon College in Manchester. Adam’s housemates are also Langdon members. It’s a typical house share – they take turns making dinner, watch TV and go down the pub together.
Before lockdown, Adam was busy from Monday to Friday. He had two jobs that he loved at Kosher Kingdom and New Chapters. He saw a personal trainer at the gym, went horse riding and to parties with his friends.
Langdon allowed Adam to make his own decisions. He led a fulfilling, independent, Jewish life. It’s what any parent wishes for their child.”
“I brought Adam back to the family home when lockdown started. He’s so vulnerable and I was scared. I just felt the safest place for him was with me.
Adam is 24 but thinks like a three-year-old. He didn’t understand what was happening. He missed all his regular activities terribly and couldn’t ask why.
I’d forgotten how exhausting it is to look after him.
I filled his time as best as I could. We played games, sometimes Adam join in Langdon’s online sessions and his Langdon buddy drew and read with him over Zoom. His incredible support workers called him every day.
Weeks turned to months and Adam became very difficult to manage. It was agonising to admit that I couldn’t do it. Adam needed his own life, in his own home.”
“I love that Pears House is busy. Members of staff come and go during the day, keeping Adam stimulated. Thanks to Langdon, he’s more than just clean, clothed and fed. He’s happy.
I’ve got so many concerns about the ‘new normal’ for Adam.
Those three tough months reminded me just how much support he needs. Hopefully he can start some of his old activities soon, but I really worry that the winter is going to be dreadful.
My mission is to find Adam a life that works without me. Lockdown brought back my deepest fear – if I die, how will Adam survive?
Words cannot express how grateful I am to Langdon. More than ever before, they’re giving my son his independence and keeping him safe.”
‘Langdon has helped keep our kids safe during this difficult time, now we need to ensure its future is secure.’
Rabbi Bernstein, father of Langdon member Simcha
“Simcha is 27 and needs round the clock care. We are in London but he lives in Langdon in Manchester so he can be close to his siblings.
Before lockdown, he was thriving. Langdon helped support him, so he was able to go to shul and develop friendships in the wider Jewish community. He was often invited to people’s homes for Shabbat. Whenever we visited, he would be greeted by person after person on the street.
Simcha was welcomed at Langdon so he could develop new skills and become more independent. We know we won’t always be around for him to rely on. He started Langdon as a child with special needs, and, thanks to their patience and nurturing, has developed into a mature young man.”
“Simcha stayed at Langdon during lockdown and was unable to be with us or his siblings for Pesach. It was the first time we were apart for a holiday and everyone in our family felt bereft at his isolation.
Langdon did everything they could to make him feel happy and secure. They arranged for his flat to be Pesach cleaned, bought his favourite foods and a support worker made a Seder with him so he could experience a “normal” Pesach. The effort they put in to making it special gave us confidence and made it easier for Simcha to accept this unexpected new reality.
Throughout the lockdown, Langdon has made sure he was busy and his support workers spent extra time with him, so his day was structured and had purpose. When he feels secure and happy, we feel secure and happy.”
“When the lockdown restrictions lifted, Simcha was finally able to visit us in London. We were so happy to be reunited and when it was time to go home, he stripped his bed, tidied his room, and got himself ready. That wouldn’t have happened without Langdon’s guidance. We cried tears of joy seeing his independence.
Throughout this difficult time, and despite the lack of face-to-face contact, our relationship hasn’t changed. Langdon has helped Simcha flourish during this challenging situation, especially after renewed restrictions were put in place in Manchester and he was once again unable to see his siblings and friends in the community.
Aside from the positive effect that Langdon has had on Simcha, they have helped us too.”
£25 could provide a virtual activity session for our members
£50 will enable 1:1 bereavement and anxiety therapy for a Langdon member
£100 can supply activity boxes to one Langdon household
£250 will provide 15 hours of virtual support to our members and their families
£500 will buy one week’s worth of PPE for Langdon staff
Kisharon and Langdon are merging. The newly formed charity, Kisharon Langdon, will offer a wider breadth of services of enhanced quality, enabling us to better support people with learning disabilities and autism and their families. The organisation remains dedicated to meeting unique religious and cultural needs, fostering an inclusive environment.