Inclusivity

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000

Description

The Centre for ADHD & Autism Support (CAAS) is a small charity in North West London supporting children and adults with a diagnosis of ADHD and/or autism, their families, and the local community through specialist training, support groups and practical help.

CAAS is distinctive because we help individuals and families affected by a diagnosis of both ADHD and autism and we provide support from childhood through to adulthood. Crucially, we don’t require an official diagnosis for individuals to access our services - we help before diagnosis.

In 2016/17, we supported 911 individuals at our centre, trained 224 externally and raised awareness and gave support to an additional 593 at parent groups in schools, peer assemblies and community events meaning we directly impacted 1,728 people. Demand for the local service we offer is high and due to funding shortages we increasingly need to operate waiting lists.

Securing funding to support the adults who need our service is challenging. As statutory services are being cut, the demand for our service is increasing, and we desperately need funds to ensure we can offer everyone who contacts us the life-changing help they need.

The difficulties faced by autistic adults can frequently lead to isolation and limited opportunities to develop meaningful relationships and to socialise. Significant problems with getting and maintaining employment can reduce their ability to reach their full potential.

Many adults receive a late diagnosis and will have gone through life feeling different, wrong or like they just don't fit in. This feeling of exclusion can lead to mental health difficulties such as anxiety disorders, depression or self-harm.

The National Autistic Society states that at least one in three autistic adults are experiencing severe mental health difficulties due to a lack of support. 70% of autistic adults say they are not getting the help they need from social services. 70% said that with more support they would feel less isolated. CAAS provides the opportunity for autistic adults to meet with others in a safe, secure, non-judgemental environment.

We currently run four groups for adults with a diagnosis, or suspected diagnosis, of autism - a creative writing group, a book club, a therapeutic and social group and a women's forum. However, only two of those are currently funded, and we desperately need to develop the service we offer. 76 adults are registered users of those groups, and we are regularly receiving calls and emails asking if we can also provide one to one support.

"Without the group, a number of us could face relapse and isolation."

"The autism group is a place where we can be ourselves, relax and talk to like-minded people and for some of us it is the only occasion when we can experience this."

Aviva funds would enable us to part fund a Project Manager (PM) for our Autistic Adult Services and would contribute to the cost of running our unfunded groups for adults.

The PM would be responsible for the existing groups but would also establish and lead a new service for autistic adults, working closely with our youth team to ensure a seamless transition from our young people services into our adult services.

As well as running the service the PM would work directly with adults providing mentoring, support with navigating the benefits system, attending meetings, appointments and interviews. They would also recruit volunteers to support the service and ensure the future sustainability of the work that we do with adults in the local community.

CAAS offers a comprehensive service for parents, carers, young people with a diagnosis of ADHD and/or autism and adults with ADHD. The next step is for us to provide the same level of service for autistic adults to ensure they are supported to live as full a life as possible.

Funding from Aviva will enable us to achieve this and make a huge difference to the lives of the adults who need us.

Centre for ADHD & Autism Support

Location: Pinner

We are proud of the difference we make to the lives of individuals who are affected by a diagnosis of autism and/or ADHD, their family and friends. Our small, dedicated team provides children and adults with the best possible chance to be valued members of their local community.
Back to the projects