Local charity Achievement Bute has welcomed the award of more than £500,000 in lottery funding to help families living with autism in rural parts of Argyll and Bute.
The £548,622 grant from the Big Lottery Fund’s Investing in Communities programme, awarded to Scottish Autism’s five-year ‘Get Set 4 Autism’ initiative, will help in providing post diagnosis support to families with children up to the age of 18 who are on the autism spectrum.
Achievement Bute is currently carrying out a pilot autism mentoring scheme on Bute aimed at young people about to leave secondary school; in common with the new initiative, the Bute pilot is delivered in partnership with Autism Argyll.
Achievement Bute manager Dorothy McDonald said: “The Scottish Autism award isn’t directly related to the work we are doing on Bute, but we do support the project and would like to congratulate Scottish Autism and Autism Argyll on the funding award.
Charlene Tait, director of development at Scottish Autism, said: “We are delighted with this substantial funding grant from the Big Lottery which will enable us to establish this new initiative. Families living in rural areas have it particularly tough simply as it is much harder to access resources and support. We are excited to be delivering this model and hope that if it’s successful in providing post diagnostic support, it could be rolled out to other areas in Scotland.”
Alison Leask from Autism Argyll said: “This generous funding grant is fantastic news. We know about the sense of isolation which exists locally amongst many families who have children with autism.
“Contact with both professionals and other families who are experiencing similar challenges can be rare and, as a result, many currently feel like they are left to cope alone.
“Get Set 4 Autism aims to overcome these issues and be empowering for parents, offering the guidance and support that their family needs to flourish.”
The Get Set 4 Autism project will provide mobile support to around two hundred families in Argyll and Bute and has been designed in consultation with a range of relevant professionals and statutory bodies.
Families will have access to a network of support including having access to Scottish Autism’s online e-learning programme ‘Right Click’ as well as further resources from Autism Argyll and other local bodies.