12th July 2013
Birthday party to celebrate ten years of success in helping those affected by autism
Daisy Chain is a unique
charity that addresses the needs of
children affected by autism, as well as their parents, carers and siblings.
Hundreds of families visit the charity's site in Norton, Stockton-on-Tees, each
year and take advantage of the day centre, farm, sensory gardens and wetlands.
The charity's recent 10th
birthday was marked by a fantastic party, complete with a bouncy castle,
balloons and games. Daisy Chain's mascot, Daisy Bear, played with the children
and helped to cut the delicious birthday cake.
Sarah Kirkman, Media and Communications Officer at Daisy
Chain, explained that the party was the perfect way to celebrate the continuing
success of the charity: "We look after
the parents offering those one-to-one support. We look after the siblings and
then we look after the child as well. We do that on our 5.5 acre farm. We've
just got lots of things that cater especially for children who have autism.
"Our children and
families are celebrating by coming here on Saturday and we've got an extra special activity day going
People with autism often have anxieties in relation to social
integration and communication, which makes getting to know their peers
increasingly difficult. Daisy Chain's birthday party was a brilliant way of
bringing autistic children, and their families, together in a relaxed and
"It's a place where
parents can come and meet other parents that are struggling with some of the
same issues", said Angela Middleton, an autism specialist who works for
Daisy Chain. "Daisy Chain is a kind of a
lifeline for them and without Daisy Chain they'd feel very isolated. We wouldn't be able to do it without
People's Postcode Lottery".
In between the fun and games Matt Simpson, Chief Executive
at Daisy Chain, took the time to speak about all that the charity has achieved
over the years, the lives that have been positively affected and the hundreds
of families that their volunteers have helped: "In 2003 founder Lesley Hanson envisioned a ‘haven for families affected by autism'. Her vision is now a reality
for the hundreds of families that access our site in Norton every week and we
can't think of a better reason to celebrate."
Matt reminded guests to look through the books of
memorabilia which documented the development of Daisy Chain from a run-down
farm in 2003 to the renovated and modern building it is today. He also talked
about future plans for the charity, which include creating a wild flower meadow
and developing a new education centre and improving the site's car park.
To date, players of People's Postcode Lottery have raised more than £355,000 for Daisy Chain. This funding helps the charity to continue its support work and increase awareness about autism throughout the UK.