Newsletter - June 2015

Welcome

Hi everyone and welcome to the June edition of our newsletter.
We have changed the format slightly as I know many people who use the internet on their phone are having trouble opening the attachment. We have still included the pdf file for those of you who prefer the old format or would like to print the newsletter.

It is now one year since the Lancaster and Morecambe branch of the NAS was formed! Our membership is continuing to grow and so is the range of activities that we are now able to offer. We also feel that, as a NAS branch, we have more of a voice in terms of campaigning and this is something we want to do a lot more of in the coming year.

Many people are unaware that the only money our branch receives is from our own fundraising efforts and funding bids. We are a very small committee made up of unpaid volunteers and we are all parents of school age children. In order for our branch to grow and to set up more activities and groups we will need more help from our members and there are some suggestions on how you can help in this newsletter.

We will be holding our first AGM in September (date and venue to be confirmed in July's newsletter) so this would be a great opportunity for you to give us some feedback and come on board if you are able to do so.

You can get in touch with us anytime by e mailing landm@nas.org.uk or by calling 07500 881 831.

Thank you !

In the Pipeline

Support group for adults with Autism
We are still having meetings with various people to get some advice on setting up a group for our adult members. Our aim is to trial this group in September and it will be for adults with a diagnosis of autism, in the process of getting a diagnosis or wanting some advice on how to get a diagnosis. If you would like to get involved in this group or are able to help in any way then please get in touch.

Red Cross 1st Aider training
The British red cross have offered to run some basic first aid training for our members. We have to choose 6 of the modules listed on their website. The training is 2 hours (from 11-1pm) so if you are interested please let us know which days are best and which modules you are interested in.
bit.ly/1E8fU24 

Meetings in June/July

Our monthly NAS Information mornings are always held at Firbank Children's Centre, Lancaster, LA1 3HL from 10-12pm (term time only). Appointments can be made to chat to someone from SEND IASS (new name for parent partnership) in a private room at the children's Centre.

Wednesday 3rd June - Firbank children's centre
Informal talk by the Staff from the Cedar house school (part of the Witherslack group) with a chance to chat to them afterwards. They have very kindly offered to deliver some courses for our members and will chat about which topics are available so please try to come along if this is something you are interested in.

Monday 8th June - Carnforth Children's centre (9.30-11.30)
An informal drop in session for anyone with an interest in autism.

Wednesday 1st July - Firbank children's centre
Talk by Barnardos on how they can help families in this area with Education, Health and Care plans. They are an independent supporter and can arrange workshops to help children communicate their aspirations for the future. There are different workshops for different ages eg primary / secondary so if this is something you or your child would be interested in, please come along.

Events

Volunteers needed

Youth Groups
The Psychology students who help to run our teenage youth group on Wednesday evenings have broken up for the summer and so we are short of volunteers for June/July and also September. We need enthusiastic people to help with cooking activities, engage the children in games/lego building and to help with arts and crafts. We are also trialling a session for younger children and need people who can come up with ideas for some active indoor games and activities. Parents/carers have to remain on site so you won't be responsible for supervising these children - just for helping out and having fun! If you have any hobbies or interests you would like to share at these groups we would really appreciate your input eg photography, drawing, music, weaving etc.

Fundraising and funding bids
As mentioned earlier in the newsletter, our branch is totally reliant on fundraising in order to organise activities and events. If you have some time to help with fundraising or funding bids (or have any ideas and suggestions) then we would be extremely pleased to hear from you. We have a supply of donation tins so if you know of anywhere that would accept one please do get in touch.

Running a support group for adults with autism
We will shortly be announcing a brainstorming session to discuss ideas for an adult support group. If you have any experience of working with adults on the spectrum or suggestions for activities then please let us know.

Campaigning
One of our members is actively campaigning to improve services for young adults/adults, especially those with associated mental health conditions. She attends meetings with the Clinical Commissioning group (CCG), the Care Quality Commission (CQC), Health watch and more. She would really appreciate other members getting involved in campaigning. We also receive support from the NAS team and will be meeting soon to discuss our next campaign. If this is something you can help with then please get in touch

Clubs and activities