CAAS is working with the Big Give, the UK’s largest match giving organisation, to provide our school holiday Games Room/Film Club (14-18 year olds) and to start a brand new monthly Creative Club (9-13 year olds) for young people with a diagnosis of autism or ADHD.
From midday on the 27 November to midday on the 4 December all donations will be doubled.
Donations must be made online via The Big Give website between these dates only. (the link is also here: https://secure.thebiggive.org.uk/projects/view/30904/ )
CAAS has already secured pledges from The Childhood Trust, Harrow Council and Young Harrow Foundation
Alice is 12 years old and autistic. She is subjected to significant bullying at school and is very withdrawn, experiencing significant mental health issues. During her very first visit to a CAAS youth group she felt included, “I feel like everyone here is a friend”.
Without CAAS, Alice would have nowhere else to go where she feels safe and accepted.
CAAS works with over 140 young people a year who have a diagnosis (confirmed or going through assessment) of ADHD or autism in Harrow and the surrounding boroughs. Seeking a diagnosis can be a worrying and frustrating time. CAAS provides young people and their families with practical support, help and guidance.
Young people accessing our services often struggle to establish and maintain relationships with their family members and peers, due to a lack of understanding of the young person’s needs. This can result in feelings of isolation, of being ‘wrong’, broken and of not fitting in. This is further exacerbated by a lack of accessible social activities outside of school. This isolation frequently leads to anxiety disorders, depression and a vicious cycle of non-engagement.
Our youth groups provide a place to come that feels safe and secure and which is understanding of their needs. Trained facilitators support the young people in making connections and building social skills in a natural way over shared interests and activities – they build confidence and help develop the ability to form friendships outside of the group setting.
“I was the odd one out, only one diagnosed with anything, no one else is like it. I don’t think anyone in my school was like it. I was always the one with special treatment and I didn’t like it. I was made to sit in the library at lunch and wasn’t allowed to go out.
The best thing about here is that I made friends, I can be myself a lot more and a lot of the adults here understand what’s going on.”
Robert, aged 13, diagnosed with ADHD.
Due to a lack of understanding within the wider community, young people with a diagnosis of autism or ADHD are often socially isolated. Without the groups provided by CAAS, young people like Alice and Robert would have no-where else to go where they can socialise and be themselves – without judgement or exclusion. It is vital that we continue to raise funds to ensure these groups can continue.
How your donation could help:
£10 Provide refreshments for the tuck shop.
£25 Purchase new board games for young people to enjoy.
£50 Purchase arts and crafts materials for the Creative Club.
£100 Would fund a Drama/Music/Art therapist to facilitate the Creative Club.
£250 Could fund an outing for the Games Room/Film Club.