Making a difference

It’s World Autism Week  and groups across Scotland are busy raising funds and awareness on the condition

In 2015 almost 5,000 people took part in the first ever World Autism Awareness week raising over £235k in the process.

Grantholders REACH Lanarkshire Autism  were awarded £77,100 last month and Trustee Kirsteen Allan explains just what a difference that money will make to local families.

Sportsday fun
Sportsday fun

“Since being awarded a grant we have been really busy . Funding for staff posts and rent have meant we can focus on our work which we hope will improve the lives of the children and families we support. We can now develop recreational and therapy activities for our children and young people enabling them to develop their social skills and lessen any sense of isolation they can often feel.

“This funding is vital and will go a long way to helping us to reach the next stage in our development as an organisation. So many people we work with are going to benefit and we’ll be able to provide so much more support to the families we work with.”

Kirsteen was also able to offer some hints and tips to other organisations thinking of applying for funding. She said, “As first time applicants we were surprised the process was so straight forward. The questions in the application were easy to follow and got us really thinking about our work in terms of the three approaches of people-led, strengths based and connected.

“We are very much a people-led charity and consult regularly with those we work with, looking for their involvement for us to be able to tailor our services to meet their needs so being able to express that on the application really helped. Our organisation is also connected as we have a good understanding and have built up good working relationships with other local groups and we feel confident in our new project which will complement other activities within Lanarkshire.

“I would also advise that you plan your project well in advance and gather as much information from your local community as you can and contact the Big Lottery Fund if you are unsure about any part of the process.”

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