Every donation we receive is worth so much to our charity and the people we support.

While we often fundraise for large projects, the small things matter just as much, and that’s why we have our own Internal Small Grant Scheme.

Each quarter we set aside £2,500 of money raised through fundraising, and staff and managers are invited to submit applications for this money – in order to purchase items and equipment to directly benefit the people they support.

Four times a year, our Fundraising team meet with Heads of Services, the Head of Estates & Facilities, and our Health & Safety Advisor to decide where the Internal Small Grant funds should go.

When awarding these small grants, the committee considers the following:

  • The positive difference it will make to the people we support.
  • Whether it represents value for money.
  • Whether the items requested are safe and fit for purpose.
  • Whether there are other solutions to the needs presented (eg – could equipment already purchased by other departments be utilised instead?)

The group last met in May to discuss 11 applications across Residential, Supported Living, and Day Services. Successful applications included:

  • Outside seating area and barbecue for Weatherstone’s Court (see main image).
  • Materials to improve the garden area at Gallagher House.
  • Garden furniture for our Ravenswood service.
  • A leather rocking chair for an individual in Supported Living.
  • Garden and sensory equipment for The Vicarage.

The successful application for The Vicarage said:

“These items will give a wider range of activities for the people we support here [at The Vicarage] to do at home. These activities will not only help keep them engaged and boost their wellbeing, but will also help encourage them to be more physically active.

“The gardening will help the people we support lead a more independent life, help them to learn and gain skills with activities they can all enjoy, and help boost their own self-esteem as they engage with something productive and rewarding. There will also be a new, wide variety of opportunity to fulfil their sensory needs by interacting with and exploring both the garden and the sensory objects we plan to put in place.

“Overall it will boost wellbeing, keep people engaged, and encourage them to spend time outdoors. This will benefit them all mentally, emotionally and physically.”

The team then followed this up by sharing photos of the people we support at The Vicarage (see below) building a greenhouse, watering plants, painting fencing and the shed, and enjoying playing with their new beanbags and jigsaw mats.

This is what your donations accomplish throughout the year at Autism Together. Thank you to everyone who has supported our charity through fundraising, legacies, playing our lottery and making donations.

If you would like to make a donation to support the work of Autism Together, please click the link and you can do so through our website.

Thank you all so much.