Autism Hub Islington & Camden
The Autism Hub Islington & Camden is a user led initiative by and for adults with High-Functioning Autism and Aspergers syndrome. The aim of the Autism Hub is to provide information, support, sign-posting and host events delivered through peer support & mentoring.
The Hub originally grew out of ALAG as a response to a need for specialist autism services in Islington and later on Camden. It has become a central point of access to autism services in Islington and Camden linking in and connecting with other agencies in the community to make them more autism aware & accessible.
The Autism Hub’s Covid Response Project 2020
Over the last few months during the height of the pandemic, many autistic adults have reported increased levels of anxiety, isolation, bereavement, disruption to routines, difficulty accessing health and mental health services, housing issues, and employment.
As a response to the pandemic, the Autism Hub collaborated with both Camden and Islington commissioners to initiate a Covid Response Project to support autistic residents in Islington & Camden who were adversely affected by the pandemic.
The project aims to increase the Autism Hub’s capacity to deliver specialist counselling, webinars/workshops around wellbeing and keeping safe in the community, widen the reach to autistic residents, and work with local partners to support their services to make reasonable adjustments and increase autism awareness.
If you would like to contact the Autism Hub for more information, please send them a message here.
GUNNERS FUND MAY 2018
ALAG is delighted to announce the Arsenal Foundation Gunners Fund of £2,500 for The Autism Hub Islington. ALAG is honoured to receive this grant and the continuous support of the Arsenal Foundation.
ALAG Peer Support Project
ALAG was delighted to receive £2000 in grant funding from the Arsenal Foundation Gunners Fund and grateful for the opportunity to take the initial Support Planning Brokerage Project forward beyond the training stage to initiate a Peer Support volunteer service.
This was an exciting and challenging project for ALAG, supporting members to offer their time, experiential knowledge, skills and expertise to help their peers’ access and make better use of local services. The project aimed to help our users create new healthy life-style habits to address major issues such as anxiety and isolation.
A range of activities were offered within the Peer Support Project which included mentoring, employment coaching, workshops and signposting to specific services.
During the initial stages and throughout the project, it was important to listen to what people said their needs were and to help them explore the services available to address those needs as well as matching the individuals with peers who had relevant lived experience.
Using the skills and growing confidence of the peer support volunteers, support focused around activities such as communication workshops, supervised one to one sessions incorporating mentoring and coaching, social events and managing money workshops.
This quote is from one of our workshop leaders who also gave employment advice:
“Working with my peers gave me the opportunity for personal development. I had to structure activities that took into consideration the individual needs and abilities of those attending the workshop. It was a valuable opportunity to see the wide spectrum of abilities and respond accordingly. I also had the opportunity to develop relationships further with other members and interact with them where there was not the opportunity before. I also was able to develop a workshop pack which can be used again in the future to support other members. The whole experience was enlightening, educational and extremely enjoyable.” Jennifer Barker
This quote is from one of our beneficiaries:
“…I enjoyed taking part in the workshops as it was nice to have the opportunity to share my views and hear what everyone else thought. The group leaders were good at involving everyone and making us feel more relaxed and comfortable in the group with plenty of opportunities to find out more about communication skills and to practice them in the group setting. The overall experience has helped me to identify areas where I need improvement but also it has highlighted my strengths which has made me feel more confident to try new experiences.” Aysen
The Arsenal Foundation has made a significant difference to this project in that it:
- Has brought us positive attention from a range of organisations who have an interest in autism – they would not otherwise have known about the positive value of peer-to-peer support networks.
- Gave our members a sense of pride and increased confidence to know that they have the support of a prestigious club like Arsenal supporting them and raising awareness of the difficulties they face in everyday life.
- The article featuring one of our members in the match day programme was also very well received and appreciated by the ALAG group and the wider community. It brought smiles all round and may even have swayed allegiance from other clubs, who knows…?