During the pandemic, our services had to close down and the service we all know and love had to be changed temporarily into the new virtual reality that everyone is still getting used to!
We are a non-for-profit organisation who works with the charity Sacar to provide Autism specific services across the Yorkshire region.
We provide a range of services including group social skills workshops (through an autism-specific learning programme), information and guidance, autism-specific counselling, employment support, autism awareness training and community outreach support. Under the name Autism First we also provide bespoke support for adults with autism and additional needs.
We believe that adults with autism deserve access to the correct level of support at the right time. We are passionate about empowering our service users (members) to develop their skills, enabling them to progress onto new opportunities such as independent living or employment.
We are always learning together with the people that we support and through this we continually develop and improve the service we provide.
We have adapted during these times to offering online workshop based activities to continue to support our members during these times, in order to stay safe and stay at home in line with the government guidelines.
As part of preparing for the time when we are allowed to re-open for our members, we are looking for funding to assist us change the way in which we work on site and to put towards ensuring we have the correct PPE, floor markings, screens, washing/hygiene facilities, etc., so that we are able to do so safely.
What are we wanting to achieve?
We are wanting to re-open our service, safely and in line with government guidelines. A lot of our members have done an amazing job in adapting to the different services we have been offering however there are still a number of them struggling to adapt to the change and uncertainty during these times. We want to be able to offer a service that is safe and reassuring for people to attend when we do eventually re-open. A lot of our members and members parents are hoping this is sooner rather than later as understandably the pandemic has caused a lot of disruption and additional strain to many of them.
What do we need to purchase with the money we raise?
In order to enable this to happen we need to ensure that our building are safe and can be adapted in order to maintain social distancing measures. At one of our sites this will mean adapting room sizes by removing partitioned walls. We need to invest in equipment that will ensure we are reducing risk of infection being spread such as; thermometers, anti-bacterial wipes & dispensers, appropriate PPE (gloves, hand gel, aprons, face shields etc. We will also need to invest in some items in order to make adaptations to our buildings, items that before the pandemic would have been at a much lower cost, such as floor markings/tape, digitising our money system for members that pay for daily lunch club, drinks machines on site to reduce the risk of people touching and using the kitchen facilities, PVC coverings for any items of furniture so that we are able to ensure things can be wiped down very easily and washable paint for walls so we can redecorate the walls to ensure they can also be cleaned easily.
We are aiming to raise £3.5K in order to buy everything that we need to so that we are able to re-open as soon as possible. You will be massively helping a organisation where individuals can be so easily isolated and desperately need a safe service to come back to.