Welcome to Our July Newsletter
The second quarter of 2022 have witnessed growth in our mental health and wellbeing support services. In working to improve the mental, emotional, financial and physical wellbeing of our service users, we started our craft for wellbeing activities on Wednesdays. We concluded six weeks of Jewelry making course and six weeks of cake making and decoration course for young autistic people. The Jewelry course was culminated by a jewelry sale held on June 13.
Our Monday social club for autistic people 16-25 continues. We had a brilliant Easter holiday activities for children and we were pleased to take the children on a trip to Chessington world of Adventures and on June 1st to the London Transport Museum. Our weekly one to one job/career advice and wellbeing support service continues on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Additional gardening activities for both children and adults and arts and craft for children are held on Saturdays. The wellbeing team has had a great time. Both the Lambeth and Southwark group have been on an eat out on cruise which was very well received by attendees.
We continue to hold wellbeing support group for both young carers and the 35+ group in Lambeth on Wednesdays and Southwark on Tuesdays.
We also held two fantastic workshops on Understanding Dyslexia and Healthy Living Nutrition.
On June 4th, together with the Friends of Agnes Riley, we had a garden party which was fun-filled with lots of different food.
We are now running face to face sessions. As a lasting impacts of the corona virus outbreak, we continue to deliver online and telephone support to our service-users.
Please look out for opportunities in this newsletter where you can get involved in supporting autistic people and their families.
In this Newsletter
Autism Voice Updates
Mental Health Support Updates
Our mental health and wellbeing support services continue to provide one to one and group support to autistic people and their families.
To achieve our mental health support goals, we have been assessing our service-users mental wellbeing using the Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale. The survey completed by 33 service-users across our services age 18+ revealed that 48% have high mental wellbeing, 38% have moderate mental wellbeing and 14% have low mental wellbeing. We will continue to work to support those with moderate and low mental wellbeing to high.
We are working to increase young autistic people and young mothers of autistic children access to mental health support services.
Our activities include:
- Craft-making skills development
- Social club for autistic young adults
- Weekly play activities for autistic children
- Wellbeing support group for young mothers and
- One to one mental health and wellbeing support.
We are also working to boost the mental wellbeing of autistic adults and older parents/carers age 35+ in Lambeth and Southwark. Activities include:
- Weekly wellbeing support group and
- Complementary activities such as trips out, eat out and massage.
We continue to work hard to improve the health and wellbeing of our service-users and we are thrilled to continue this journey of support with all our amazing partners, supporters and service-users. We welcome new partnership and also new-service-users are always welcome.
Join our mailing list to get regular updates on our MH support to the autistic community.
Gardening for wellbeing
Gardening for Wellbeing
In June, we completed 12 weeks of craft for wellbeing courses in Cake Making and Decoration and Jewelry Making. We were very pleased to have in attendance students from the Park College Kennington who took part in both courses. Each week, participant engaged in different activities related to the course which was aimed at improving their knowledge, boost confidence and enhance their mental health and overall wellbeing. At the end of the courses, participants were awarded certificates of completion. The Jewelry-making course was culminated by a Jewelry sale which raised funds to support our work.
Contact us if you wish to partake in any of our craft-making courses in the future.
Easter holiday was Fun, Summer will be Brilliant
We continue to deliver outstanding holiday, food and fun activities for children. The children had a brilliant time during the Easter holiday. They engaged in sewing activities and also got to walk dogs at the Woodfield Pavilion. Children and their families joined the trip to the Chessington World of Adventure and during the Queen’s Jubilee holiday they made a trip to the London Transport Museum. Both children and their families had a thrilling time and they look forward to the Summer activities. Our holiday activities is supported by Lambeth Council and we aim to deliver Food and Fun activities to mainly autistic children receiving Free School Meal (FSM).
Our focused areas for our holiday activities for children include:
- Food and Nutrition education (Food matters workshop)
- Arts and Craft
- Sports and play (indoor and outdoor) and
- Sensory activities
- Trips Out
Thanks to additional trip support from Lambeth Council, this summer, the children will go on a trip to Diggerland and also the London Zoo. We have plans for more trips in the summer holiday but will be communicated when confirmed.
Introducing our Men Wellbeing Support Group
Since we started delivering weekly support services, we have realized that men do not normally attend our majority women wellbeing support group although we have a good number of men receiving one to one support from us. Even though none of the men have expressed concern about attending the mainly women group, we believe creating a safe space where autistic men and fathers of autistic children can talk about their mental health and wellbeing will be significant in enhancing their health. As part of our plans to introduce this group, we questioned 12 men who regularly receive support from us and they expressed excitement about the idea of having their own space to talk. We are happy to pilot this project for six months to see how it will work. Thanks to the London Community Foundation, Lambeth Wellbeing Fund, the men wellbeing support group will be held every last Thursday of the month from 5-7pm.
Let’s Talk About Wellbeing
We have had two brilliant workshops on Understanding Dyslexia by Neurodiversity Learning CIC and Healthy Living Nutrition delivered by Nutritionist Aluyi Ibizugbe. We look forward to holding more workshops in the autumn.
Food for wellbeing becomes regular
After a successful Food for Wellbeing programme over the easter holiday, we are happy to announce that in partnership with the Felix Project, we now provide regular once weekly food packages to families of autistic people as part of our food for wellbeing initiative. Food is provided to autistic adults and families of autistic people who receive regular support from us.
Voices from our community
In the past three months, some of our service-users have been sharing their journey with us and how our work has impacted them. In this newsletter we share some of the stories and testimonies we find truly inspiring.
Sekina’s journey with Autism voice
Sekina was referred to Autism Voice by her daughter’s work coach at the Peckham job centre. Sekina said at the time she ‘was going through some struggles’ in her life. ‘At that time, I had no idea such a group existed at the job centre in Peckham. Neither did I know of a group like this in Lambeth. It was after meeting Mariama and Nicola who were both so lovely and understanding that they enlightened me of their passion and how they wanted to support families with autism and especially from an ethnic background. I was so relieved because I didn’t have to explain myself twice or thrice,’ she recalled. Sekina said at her first appointment, both advisors immediately got and understood what she was complaining about. ‘They recognized the effort it took from families with Autism to seek for help and assistance’, she added.
Sekina said she had had difficulties with the staff at the Peckham job centre because according to her ‘the staff unfortunately were not trained adequately to deal with disabled people or families with a disabled child or adult.’ She said she was very grateful for the referral to Autism Voice as our advisors heard her ‘voice, her pains, her tears, and her struggles’. ‘They took it all on board and said cry no more, we will fight for you. They both said they have autistic kids as well and we understand your position. That was of huge relief as one must be in another’s shoe to understand where they are coming from’ Sekina mentioned. She said, Autism voice took her case on and supported her throughout and the support has been ongoing since she met them in 2018.
Sekina noted that starting the branch in Southwark had come as a huge relief to autistic adults and parents. ‘It has made a huge difference to our families here. We now meet up every other week and get support and assistance from autism voice. We do occasionally go down to Clapham site, but it is nice to meet here in the Southwark site. Throughout the pandemic we were provided with food parcels. We go out to trips with the children to Lego land, Chessington, museums and other places. The mums get together and go on trips whilst the kids are in school. Autism voice are always trying to offer us their support and encouragement in case we decide to go on a course or work. So as an individual and I speak on my behalf and of many family members that I have met with or via Autism voice. We are very proud of them, and I wish them all the best,’ Sekina added.
“Autism voice is an empowering group where parents share experiences and support each other. As a mother of two sons with SEN, joining the group has been liberating. Mariama compassionately teaches parents the ‘why’s and ‘how to’ best help autistic children and their families. She has given me guidance and strategic steps on how to support not only my sons special needs, but why self care is vital. The group trips, weekly discussions, talk therapies, and vast family activities have opened up a whole new world for us. Amazing group run by selfless volunteers. Autism Voice is our new family.” – Eman
Short Breaks for Children with Disabilities
The Children with Disabilities team at Lambeth Social Care have updated the Short Breaks provider details on the Lambeth SEND Local Offer
Children and young people are eligible for short breaks in Lambeth if they meet the below criteria:
- Live in Lambeth
- Are between the ages of 0-19
- Have a physical or mental impairment which is likely to have a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day to day activities
- This could include children with a sensory impairment, a learning disability, or an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) with challenging behaviour as a result of their learning disability.
- It also includes children with complex health needs and those with palliative, life limiting or life-threatening conditions
Contact your social worker for referrals.
SEND Hour at London Transport Museum
London Transport Museum is open outside of their regular hours to allow families with SEND to explore the museum in a quieter atmosphere.
Booking is essential. Find out more here
SEND Green Paper consultation
The SEND Green Paper which the government published in March this year is still available for consultation.
You can read the full Green Paper with accessible documents in large print, easy read and British Sign Language (BSL) here
Or a summary of the document here
The consultation period is open until Friday 22nd July 2022 for you to give your views.
The SEND Review website has details of how you can take part in the consultation to have your say and share your views.
Volunteer With Us
Community Support and Advice Volunteer for Persons 18-25
You will be providing support to young autistic people aged 16 – 25 for 2 hours per week for 6 months.
Support includes – Be an escort for social outings e.g. Cinema, coffee shop, library, Accompany to GP & hospital visits, Befriending – Provide advocacy support, Encourage hobbies and interests, Telephone calls, Encourage the young person to manage domestic responsibilities.
Children and Young People Support Volunteer for Persons aged 18 – 25
You will be providing support to children and young people with autism and/or learning disabilities aged 6 – 15 for 4 hours per day during school holidays and half-terms.
Support includes – Support children during meal and play time, Liase with activities director regarding the support of children, Escorting children to playground and the park, Provide stimulating and safe play environment for children, Encourage children and young people to follow their hobbies and interests, Initiate stimulating free and structured play ideas for children.
We expect you to be- Resilient, patient, a good listener, calm-natured, empathetic, and adaptable, Reliable and able to give time on regular basis, Able to accept people as they are, Basic understanding of Autism & Learning Disabilities.
What we provide- Training, DBS check, Volunteer stipend, Regular supervision
Contact Us On: 08458605547 or 07460399290; email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Exciting activities for autistic children and young people over the 6-weeks summer holiday
Food and Fun activities for autistic children 6-15
Arts & Crafts, Music & Dance, Sports & Play, Trips Out, Sensory Activities, gardening, Food & Nutrition & Many More.
25th July – 26th August
Monday to Friday
9:30am – 2:30pm
161-167 Clapham Manor St. SW4 6DB.
For booking and referral contact 07460399290 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Fun trips and outings for autistic people 16-25.
Dates: 11th July, 25th July, 1st August, 6th August, 15th August & 22nd August
Trips: Science Museum, Bowling, Cinema, Transport Museum, China Town and Picnic at the Park
Meet up: Will be planned by the group.
Call 07460399290 for more information