Daisy Chain Project was established in 2003 as a result of founder Lesley Hanson wanting to "…make Daisy Chain a haven for families affected by autism and special needs, a place where they can go and find something in life that gives them pleasure." The charity currently supports over 3,395 families.
Daisy Chain, a Tees Valley-based charity supporting autistic children, young people, and their families, continues providing frontline services thanks to support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
From August 2020 to August 2021, the organisation supported over 4,559 families through a variety of holistic services on its 5.5-acre site, from its purpose-built day-centre to a farm, gardens and allotments. The facilities offer a whole host of therapeutic opportunities designed to increase confidence and wellbeing. These include animal therapy sessions, forestry skills-based learning, non-competitive sports and cooking skills.
For almost 20 years, Daisy Chain has provided this support alongside developing transitional programmes to support people moving into adulthood, empowering them to live independently. These programmes include employability services, support with housing, benefits and independent living, and life skills workshops such as first aid and fire safety. Support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery positively impacts many areas of Daisy Chain’s frontline services, including:
The Virtual Support Service which was developed as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic and continues to thrive. The services provides telephone and assisted face-to-face support and continues to provide a vital lifeline to people who need support, advice and guidance.
The Housing, Benefit and Independent Living Service which is celebrating its first full year since launch and is looking forward to a second year with support from players of People's Postcode Lottery in the coming year.
The Wellbeing Service, which is a person-centred and nurturing service providing empowering support that is personalised to people's unique experiences, wishes, feelings and goals.
"Autism is a difference, not a deficit. Differences are to be valued not 'fixed'. My normal is different from your normal and the aim shouldn’t be conformity but wellbeing." Autistic member of Autism Education Trust young person's panel.
Daisy Chain promotes a strengths-based approach whereby it focuses on the strengths of the individual supporting them to lead a life that is meaningful to them. Although autistic people face challenges, they can and do contribute a lot to the world around them. Daisy Chain would like to say a huge thank you to the players of People’s Postcode Lottery for their continued support.
Find out more at www.daisychainproject.co.uk