Bristol Autism Support (BAS), a charity providing information support and training for parents and carers of autistic children is celebrating its 8th birthday.
As for many people and organisations, this year has no doubt been the most challenging because of the Coronavirus pandemic. This hasn’t stopped BAS’s birthday celebrations, which have included online fundraising and a virtual pet show! There have been many reasons to celebrate, including becoming a registered charity in late 2019 and supporting a growing number of people by adapting its support services.
Sian is the mother of an eight year old girl who was diagnosed with autism in 2019. She says, “during the Covid-19 lockdown, BAS has been like a shining light in the dark. From the moment that lockdown started, Kate was doing videos every morning and it was so lovely to see her face – that calm, nurturing face! It just made me feel like, ‘whatever happens, it’s going to be okay’.”
Autism can leave many people feeling isolated and alone; the pandemic has no doubt increased that for parents, carers and their children. BAS is primarily a face-to-face support organisation running training sessions, support groups and coffee mornings. It has adapted its services to provide telephone and email advice, befriending, online support groups and advice sessions. Its next ‘What Do I Do Now?’ six week course for parents/carers will be running online in September. Click here to book online.
BAS is grateful for the financial support it has received this year – £2,000 from Woodspring Golf Club, £4,800 from Quartet Community Foundation to adapt its services and £2,060 from the Direct Line Group Community Fund to support communities during the COVID-19 crisis. On receiving the funding Kate Laine-Toner, Founding Director of BAS said, “it’s hard to put into words how much being selected for these funds, and receiving your donations, means to us. We are a small and very hardworking charity and we will put these funds to very good use in supporting families affected by autism.”