Wirral’s purpose built youth facility, The Hive, has been recognised as an Autism Champion by a leading charity dedicated to enhancing the lives of autistic people and their families.
Autism Together has awarded ‘champion’ status to The Hive in recognition of its commitment to providing autism friendly services and ensuring its youth workers and management team have received autism awareness training.
As a result of the awareness training, youth workers at The Hive are now able to recognise people who are on the autistic spectrum and adapt their approach accordingly, to ensure sessions at the Youth Zone are fully inclusive and autism friendly.
According to Autism Together, there are approximately 1 in 100 people in the UK with a diagnosis of autism; many of whom can feel overwhelmed accessing public places and services, resulting in them becoming isolated and withdrawn. The Autism Champions scheme is designed to help tackle this issue by encouraging organisations and public facilities to become more autism aware. The initiative is one of a number of campaigns spearheaded by Autism Together, a charity which started life in 1968 as The Wirral Autistic Society and is now one of the country’s leading providers of services and support to people with autism and their families.
Commenting on The Hive’s Autism Champion status, Stuart Barnes, Chief Executive said, “The Hive Youth Zone is one of the major providers of activities and support services to young people in the region with over 6,500 members, a significant number of whom have autism. Every single member is unique and special and we continually strive to ensure each one has the best possible experience.
“Achieving the Autism Champion status has equipped us with new skills and knowledge and recognises our commitment to ensuring that there are no barriers to any young person gaining maximum enjoyment and benefit from our work, alongside their peers.”
Dougy Oliver, Inclusion Manager at The Hive added, “Being recognised as an Autism Champion demonstrates our commitment to creating a supportive environment within The Hive that is suitable for all. I hope this goes some way to giving young people with autism the confidence to come out and try the Youth Zone out for the first time.”
Yvonne Crowhurst, Head of Autism Training & Advisory Service at Autism Together said, “We are thrilled at being able to play a part in developing the autistic awareness skills of the The Hive’s team, in this latest pioneering initiative at the Youth Zone, which is now part of the Autism Champions network. This ensures that those on the autistic spectrum can feel accepted, welcomed and better understood when accessing this innovative community facility which promises so much for all the youth of the area and not just those with additional needs. We are grateful to The Hive for the opportunity to work with them and wish them continued success.”
To find out more about the Autism Champion scheme, organisations can visit: http://www.autismtogether.co.uk/become-an-autism-champion/