This Christmas, New Directions has enabled the people it supports to spend quality time with their loved ones in the safe environment of its new Covid-secure and purpose-built visitor pod. Officially opened by the Mayor of Rugby, Cllr Bill Lewis on Friday 18th December, the pod will help reunite people with complex needs with their families. It will liberate those with dementia in danger of forgetting their relatives without regular contact, improve the lives of those whose mental health has already been detrimentally affected by limited Winter visits, and benefit people who need to see someone’s mouth to clearly understand them speaking without masks. The pod will also have a lasting benefit as it can be used in all weathers.

Funded by donations from family members, the pod is designed to have two rooms which are separated by a sealed airtight partition of toughened glass for mutual protection. People will have the opportunity to remove their masks and talk clearly through an intercom making communication easier. The floor is designed to be wheelchair friendly and on the walls are prints that give the pod a warm and relaxing feel. The interior is easily cleaned and has two separate entry and exit points for safety. Christmas and New Year celebrations are traditionally occasions that bring families closer together, so the aim to is make visits more meaningful, where people feel comfortable and behave more naturally. The pod is available to anyone who is supported by New Directions and their families bringing a new dimension to the charity’s response to the pandemic.

I am absolutely thrilled that we have been able to make this significant investment with the additional support of family donations so that safe and comfortable visits can take place, it is a great Christmas present for everyone.

Paul Tolley

CEO, New Directions

New Directions Rugby Ltd. exists to enable people with additional needs to take control of their lives and to have the best quality of life possible. The charity’s values underpin the services it provides, encouraging choice, independence and equality for everyone. Services include supported living and accommodation, short breaks, day activities, leisure groups, residential services and support with managing personal budgets, transport services, volunteering, finding work or a place to live.