The RAFT Club


Your story

RAFT provides support for families affected by autism living in Reading

Group introduction

RAFT was set up by a committee of parents in 2008 to provide free support for families affected by autism living in Reading. We run a fortnightly play club for ASD children and their siblings whilst parents/carers meet to support each other. We employ specialist Play Workers and an Administrator with experience working with autism to work with the children on their fine and gross motor skills and social interaction skills which are delayed with autism. We support the whole family so that the siblings and parents realise they are not alone and learn how to play with and support their ASD sibling/ children as well as meeting others in a similar situation to themselves. Over the past 9 years we have supported 64 families in the local area and currently have 25 families accessing the club.

How would this funding have an impact on your community?

Reading has a greater than national average number of autistic children and many more diagnosed on a weekly basis. We have a waiting list and regularly receive referrals, it would be great if we could increase the number of families we are able to support to 30. The money would mean the continuity of the club which would otherwise close without these strands of funding and families affected by autism would be isolated and unsupported.

"The Raft Club has been a lifeline. When my son was diagnosed, aged 4, I knew nothing about Autism, knew no-one with the condition, and felt very alone. The club has provided a fabulous support network of other families who understand our life and difficulties. It's been a great source of information and friendship for me. My son loves the sessions. He's made friends and is able to play and express himself without judgement from other children and adults.  I'm not sure how we would have managed without The Raft Club.

Polly Lewis - Club User and parent of 3."

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