The Mental Health impact of the Covid- 19 pandemic #timetotalkday2021

#timetotalkday is an annual campaign that aims to end the stigma attached to mental health and encourage everyone to start having conversations about how they really feel. says: We know that the more conversations we have, the more myths we can bust and barriers we can break down, helping to end the isolation, shame and worthlessness that too many of us with mental health problems are made to feel.

The Covid-19 pandemic has been tough for even the most resilient of us and the effects of the pandemic on the nation’s mental health will be a legacy we need to deal with.

People with a learning disability can be more likely to experience poor mental health because of:

  • Biology and genetics may increase vulnerability to mental health problems
  • A higher incidence of negative life events
  • Access to fewer resources and coping skills – even more notable during the 2020 Covid pandemic
  • The impact of other people’s attitudes

The pandemic has been especially hard for our members and services like Leep1 that offer support and activities to adults with learning disabilities have remained open as much as possible to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the people we are here to help.

When we re-opened in September after the first lockdown our members saw improvements to their mood and mental health almost immediately. Watch our short film about how the Leep1 Online Group has been helping our members stay connected and how the reopening of Leep1 was such a welcomed event….

#timetotalk #mentalhealthmatters #mentalhealthawareness #stigma

Learning Disability Community Disco

It’s been nearly a year since we hosted one of our club nights at Pryzm Nightclub in Leeds. These evenings were one of the highlights of everyone’s month with around 200 people attending from the Learning Disabled Community. We are all desperate to be able to get together soon and can’t wait until we can host another event at Pryzm in the near future.

To try make up for this we’ve been running virtual DJ nights on our Facebook Group throughout the pandemic. Listening to some great tunes, we dance tnd chat online while the event is streamed live into our homes and kitchens!

The weekends start early at Leep1 with DJ nights running from Thursday to Saturday every week. Our members kindly volunteer to host these weekly events and they have learnt some amazing new DJ-ing skills along the way.

Thursday Nights

Thursday night is Ollie and Chris’s turn on the decks playing 80s and 90s hits. Chris and Ollie have both invested in some fantastic equipment to enhance their shows: from UV backdrops to professional DJ lights and mixing software.

Friday Night

Vicky loves to play classic club dance hits to get the weekend really started but loves taking requests too.

Saturday Night

Dj Sapphire has learnt some great skills along the way and invested in some Professional DJ Decks during the first lockdown. She loves to play a real mixture of music from reggae, dub, dance and pop.

More information about how to join our Facebook Group which is a safe and supportive space for adults with learning disabilities can be found here:

Online activities for adults with learning disabilities during lockdown

On January 5th we were advised by the UK Government that the country was to go into another full lockdown which meant we had to close for 7 weeks. Many countries across the world were in a similar position and it was not the start to 2021 we all hoped for.

The Leep1 team were very much looking forward to re-opening our centre on Roundhay Road after the festive break. After the sudden announcement the team quickly re-grouped to plan new and interesting activities to enhance our online offer.

The Leep1 Facebook group has been the hub for all our sessions for the last 10 months. Anyone with a learning disability can request to become a member of the group and access the classes and sessions we host via Zoom and Facebook Live. The group offers a safe and supportive place for members to stay connected and learn skills during the pandemic and so far it has been a huge success. More information about our Facebook Group and the online activities we offer can be found here :


Here are just some of the activities we have designed to kick start our new year calendar:

A Bit of Colour – brightening up the winter months

Angie and Janine host this new weekly session every Thursday at 12pm. In the session we do some cooking and learn about different foods, cultures and the arts from around the world. On a grey and snowy winter day like today what could be nicer than something tasty, warming and homecooked for lunch?

These session takes place on Zoom. Details on how to join are made available to our Facebook Group members only so please request to join the group if you’d like to take part.

Have you got 10 minutes? – a sure way to lift your mood

The cold and dark winter months is when we often feel less energised and motivated. This winter is especially tough and the mental and physical health of our members is something we pay close attention to.

Paul who has been running healthy living sessions online since March has launched a brand new 10 minute daily workout challenge. It has been proven that 10 minutes of exercise can boost your mental health and immediately lift your mood. The sessions are great fun and we do a quick aerobic workout to get our whole bodies moving while having a real giggle. This week some of our staff and members have already shed some of those Christmas pounds!

These sessions take place on Zoom every Monday – Friday at 11.15am and are available to Leep1 members and our Facebook Group members.

A Breath of Fresh Air

Janine our new support worker at Leep1 loves the great outdoors and on Fridays she takes us on a wonderful nature walk through the parks and woodlands in Leeds. Learning about the wildlife and the scenery she chats while she streams to us live, giving you the chance to ask questions along the way. Last week we saw the beautiful Meanwood Park and we look forward to seeing some lovely wintery scenes in this week’s walk.

Cafe Leep Back Online – get qualifications during lockdown

Cafe Leep was all set to reopen in January with plans to begin the cooking groups again and start working with our Cafe Trainees. Our trainees have been keeping up to date with their NVQ studies online but were looking forward to coming back to work in the cafe this year. Due to the sudden announcement that we were going back into lockdown, Darren our NVQ Tutor returned to running his classes online. Lots of members who aren’t cafe trainees also enjoy coming to the sessions too. Darren makes them so much fun by hosting quizzes and games as the members learn about Food Hygiene Level 2.

The sessions happen every weekday at 10.30am on Zoom.

How to Join In

There are many more activities that are accessible to group members such as yoga, keep fit, club nights and social evenings. If you would like to become a member of our Facebook Group please click the blue button below.

If you would like to join in but do not wish to sign up to Facebook please get in touch with us by emailing: