A lack of services has led families affected by Autism to take control by setting up a support centre to provide help for each other. Nationwide the lack of help and services is a big issue, especially for families with newly diagnosed children.
I have been to visit a fab group of parents who have formed Halton Autistic Family Support Group, they have opened a charity shop to fund a family centre and provide help and support for families in Halton. After lots of fundraising they have rented an empty shop in the town centre, without help from the Council or health authority. The front of the building will provide the shop, with offices and a room for ‘drop in’ purposes behind, they are hoping sales from the shop will cover the running costs.
The post of a Development Manager has been funded by ‘The National Lottery’ but essential volunteers have been working round the clock to prepare the rooms and stock the shop. The group plans to provide activities such as music tuition, games, use of computers as well as a welcoming face providing access to information for parents and adults. They will be organising day trips and launching a buddying and outreach service.
This is their aim:
To provide better quality services for families and empower them with the right information and help them through tribunals and legal procedures. The future of these children depends on them having the right level of support at an early age.
This will be a well used service as there are about 300 children with autism in Halton and as many adults. It is a credit to these individuals who have gotten together to provide support for others in their situation but absolutely shocking that they have done it without any help from local authorities.
This is what The National Autistic Society say:
So many children and adults with autism are in need of services – as are their families and carers. But people affected by autism often find that they can’t get local support that meets their needs.
I think this is something we will see more of. We wish them lots of luck and I for one will show support and travel down there with my donations and of course to spend some money. Who doesn’t love a rummage in a charity shop.