A group of adults in fulltime care in Epsom and Banstead showed their solidarity with others in the community recently after cooking meals for the Croydon homeless hub.

Adults with autism and learning disabilities at Caprani Care homes in Epsom Downs and Banstead "jumped at the chance" to support rough sleepers with hot meals in Croydon after Service Manager Ruth Kelly, who usually does so, was forced to self-isolate amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"It wasn't really planned," Ruth told the Croydon Guardian.

"I help out by cooking meals for homeless people in Croydon, and I had to self-isolate so I couldn't get those hot meals to the hub.

"Our service users have been working on their independent living skills, including cooking, over the last number of years and we've really stepped up that engagement during lockdown because they haven't been attending volunteering, college or other day services.

"They jumped at the chance to be able to show what they have learnt. They get a great deal out of helping other people, even though they are in receipt of 24-hour support," she added.

Your Local Guardian: Adults with Caprani have been developing independent living skills during the Covid pandemic. Adults with Caprani have been developing independent living skills during the Covid pandemic.

The group's response in helping Ruth get the meals where they needed to go was an example of how Covid-19 has altered the reliable routines that many adults receiving care and those providing it depend on.

It also underlined how adaptable so many people have proven to be amid the new conditions imposed by the virus.

"Covid has caused huge changes for us as staff looking after the people we care for and also for them as individuals.

"Their daily routines have changed, and that predictability that they thrive on we've been unable to give them during the pandemic in the same way," Ruth said.

Despite those challenges, she and the rest of the Caprani team pivoted their approach from the in-person volunteering and studying denied by the virus to other activities, like growing fruit and vegetables on an allotment and learning to cook with them.

Consequently giving back to the community by putting those new skills to use showed the wider impact adult care services can have on the community, even during coronavirus.

"The feeling in the community is that people want to help.

"We've got a group of adults here on are in 24-our support and they are still finding ways to help other people. It's doable, we've just got to think about different ways to do that in a pandemic," Ruth said.