Published On: 10th October 2023

Access Foundation Grants £52,916 to help Support Autistic Communities

According to the National Autistic Society more than one in 100 people are on the autism spectrum and there are around 700,000 autistic adults and children in the UK.

Neurodiverse communities can struggle to access the digital world, as such the Foundation has granted £47,916 to AutismAble, a community interest company based in South Shields, Tyne and Wear, focused on improving the quality of life for people with autism and learning disabilities.

The charity’s vision is to support fulfilling lives for all autistic people. They deliver personalised, life-enhancing support programmes to improve their member's wellbeing and inspire them to reach their full potential.

A new programme funded by the Access Foundation "Digitally You" will support over 50 people with autism towards digital inclusion. The project includes small group-based coaching and one-to-one support to teach individuals digital skills. The programme will include four interactive learning modules including: Essential Digital Skills, Introduction to Digital Services and Applications, Digital Finance and Online banking and Advanced Digital tools and apps.

Andrew Forster, Education Manager said “This support from the Access Foundation will be invaluable to the participants and our organisation. The grant allows us to increase the capacity of our existing learning and support team whilst widening the reach of our work. Beneficiaries will include residents of South Tyneside and their families who may be digitally excluded or those who need specialist support to improve their existing skills and knowledge.”

The Foundation has also awarded a £5000 grant to Space4Autism, a charity that promotes social inclusion for autistic children and adults.

Space4Autism delivers a wide range of services including training opportunities, raising awareness with the wider community, workshops, forums, information, advice, support, social opportunities and the charity also runs a community café.

The Foundation grant will fund the delivery of a Saturday Club for children aged 8 –10 years, which will provide an opportunity for young people to make new friends, build confidence and self-esteem through experiencing new activities, also providing respite for parents and carers.

A spokesperson from the charity said: “Without such vital funding we would struggle to deliver the much needed and in demand social clubs that we currently offer including Saturday Club. It is important that the clubs which we deliver are age appropriate, the funding provided by Access Group Foundation means we can offer a specific social club for children aged 8-10years offering suitable and appropriate activities.

Many of our members do not access any other social activities and some are home schooled, so the positive impact of attending the clubs has on our members is so rewarding for parents, carers, staff, and volunteers.

Trustee’s, staff, and volunteers at Space4Autism would like to thank Access Group Foundation for providing this funding as we really could not offer such needed services without your help and support.”