Riverbank Academy joins Connecting for Good’s fight against isolation in Coventry

When deputy head Jane Heavey of Riverbank Academy, Coventry approached our Connecting for Good team to work on loneliness and isolation with their young people, we jumped at the chance.

Jane had attended our online summit to harness community spirit and turn it into community power during lockdown in 2020.

Young people with learning disabilities, autism and speech and language communication disorders have been among some of the most socially isolated and severely affected by the fallout of the Covid pandemic.

If we can help them learn more about the effects of loneliness and isolation on themselves and their peers so they can identify solutions, take action, learn new skills and use them to make change, we’ll do it!

This video explores Riverbank’s journey with Grapevine from their initial survey amongst fellow students, to co-designing a student council programme and attending a course of #ConnectingforGoodCov’s Changemaker University. They are experiencing how important it is to get involved in their community to combat isolation together.

Today they’re hosting two workshops at the local SENCO meeting (Special Education Needs Coordinators embedded in schools), sharing the findings of their loneliness survey and their own calls to action.

Ultimately, Connecting for Good Cov and Riverbank want SENCOs everywhere to think about the inclusion of loneliness and isolation in the city’s Education, Health and Care Plans (and discussions) for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities.

These themes are currently not included and must be as we recover from the crisis.

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