21st July 2016
An award of £1,500 is helping to support young people with autistic spectrum disorders in the Furness peninsular.
The Furness branch of the National Autistic Society (NAS) received the funding from the Barrow in Furness Endowment Grassroots Grants and the Cumberland Building Society Charitable Foundation.
The money has contributed towards regular activities, including trips to the cinema, team sports and local excursions, while providing a safe environment where their needs are recognised. Emphasis is placed on enabling each young person to foster independence and self-determination.
The Furness branch, run by a group of local parents whose lives have been touched by autism, provides an opportunity for parents, carers and people with autism to get together and receive support and advice in a welcoming and friendly environment.
Alongside the activities, the branch also provides regular parent and carer training workshops, an Asperger Youth Group for young people and hosts guest speakers from local services to provide additional support and information.
Rachel Prescott-Smith, Trusts and Statutory Officer for the Furness branch, describes how one mother and her autistic son have benefitted from using their services. She said: “One service user who has been heavily affected by her son’s diagnosis, came to the branch in desperate need of support a little while ago.”
“With the support of our Branch Support Officer Colette, her happiness and confidence have noticeably improved. When an issue comes up now, she will seek advice from Colette before following this through herself with the local authority, whereas before she would not have wanted to approach them.”
Autism is a lifelong, developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them. There are approximately 700,000 people living with Autism in the UK. For further information on Autism and the services provided by the National Autistic Society visit www.autism.org.uk.