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Autism Support: Three groups receive funding to help autistic adults

Three organisations supporting autistic adults in Sheffield during the coronavirus pandemic have received financial support via funding coordinated by Voluntary Action Sheffield (VAS).

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Photo: The A Team.

The funding comes from the local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which previously identified the importance of investing in voluntary sector organisations supporting autistic adults. When lockdown began, spending plans were reviewed and it was decided that some funds should be quickly allocated to projects offering support at this difficult time.

Asperger's Children and Carers Together's weekly supportive social group for young autistic adults aged 18 and above, called ACCTing Out, will move to regular online sessions, including quizzes, games and chat, as a result of the funding.

The A Team, a social group for autistic adults who previously might have been diagnosed with Aspergers Sydrome, will likewise move its activities online while continuing to accept new members, including group meetings featuring 'challenges' such as photography and writing assignments, administering a 'closed' Facebook group and chat thread, and one-to-one support for individuals who are struggling.

Sheffield Autism Dialogue Support Group are now offering free places on their regular meetings (Wednesdays, 4-5:30pm, until 22 July), during which participants can "share your experiences on a topic chosen by you and the group, or just watch and listen".

The group says they take "a strengths-based approach to autism and promote full participation and inclusivity". Participants do not need a diagnosis of autism to get involved.

VAS has confirmed that further small grants for projects supporting autistic adults will be available later this year. The charity will also fund a co-ordinator post "to help establish a network of voluntary sector organisations supporting autistic adults".

TWO HAIKUS BY 'A TEAM' MEMBERS

Isolation can

Be daunting but not always!

Smile, be kind, stay safe

'Z'

Isolation came

Everyone kept on going

We will not be cowed.

'S'

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