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Winter 2013

Photograph: New Milton Advertiser

The Mayor of New Milton, Councillor Neil Tungate officially opens Penny Farthing with Jane Parker, House Manager of Penny Farthing.

The newest of our residential homes, Penny Farthing, has been officially opened by the Mayor of New Milton, Councillor Neil Tungate. Around 50 people attended the home’s open day, which offered the chance to have a look around the property and see all of its features before the four new residents moved in. The house is the seventh of Autism Wessex’s residential care homes for adults and offers high quality accommodation and personalised support. Jon Wyatt, Director of Social Care Services, said: “Our adult residential facilities provide specialist environments ensuring the safety, security and support that many people need, whilst promoting independence. We provide support that ensures needs are met in a safe, dignified and properly regulated environment.”

“We hope more than anything that these properties become lifelong homes for our residents, and it is with that vision in mind that we strive to make Penny Farthing a warm, welcoming, safe and comfortable home.” The acquisition and renovation of Penny Farthing would not have been possible without generous supporters of Autism Wessex. These include: the Social Investment Board; Will Charitable Trust; Garfield Weston Foundation; Wolfson Foundation; Boshier Hinton Foundation; Baily Thomas Charitable Foundation; Avon Loft Converters; the Rund Partnership; and many more.

Autism Wessex

Winter 2013

Welcome Our 45th anniversary year continues to be a busy and productive time. As well as our Sapphire Ball which raised over £12,400 for the charity we have attracted a number of ‘Sapphire Supporters’ who have generously donated funds to support our events this special year. These include Meggitts, Forelle Estates, Basepoint Business Centre Bournemouth, Williams Thompson Solicitors LLP, CSE Citation Centre, Salad Creative, NWM and Saffery Champness. This has meant that all funds raised from our events have been used to directly help those we support by maintaining and improving the services we offer. Thanks to ITV Meridian’s filming at Portfield School and the Holes family in particular, we were able to highlight our work to a wide audience and continue to celebrate our 45th anniversary year. As well as being an excellent promotional opportunity for the charity, this coverage resulted in a donation from a generous viewer who gave £1,000 to the charity. Support like this really does make a difference. As the year continues, so do our fundraising efforts. We have detailed upcoming events within this newsletter, such as the Moors Valley 10k run on 29th December. We are looking for both runners and volunteers to help us host the event, so do please get in touch. The Community Support Service continues to expand and has recently opened new offices in Southampton. We will be generating a number of new jobs and are currently looking to recruit a number of Support Workers. Thank you for your support of the charity and your continued interest. If you would prefer to receive our e-newsletter, which we produce bi-monthly, please submit your email address to

Community Wessex in Southampton Community Wessex has expanded its services and opened new offices in Southampton. The Community Support Service has opened a new office at the Basepoint Business Centre on Andersons Road. The office will allow us to provide services in and around the Southampton area, having recently won contracts to provide support to local families affected by autism and learning disabilities. Working with the Hampshire Children Learning Disabilities Framework, Hampshire Adults Learning Disability Framework and serving a contract with Southampton City Council’s ‘Buzz’ network, the team is looking to recruit a number of staff to Support Worker positions. Jo Pattison, Area Manager for Community Wessex comments; “As well as the contracts we have already won we are currently tendering for community outwork. We are really excited by the opportunity to expand our services and bring our expertise to the regional community. As part of our expansion we are recruiting and would encourage anyone interested in working with us in a Support Worker capacity to get in touch. Families looking for support are asked to get in touch to discuss their needs and how we can help. As an autism specialist with over 45 years experience, we have recently broadened our services to be more inclusive which now allows us to provide support to families affected not just by autism but learning disabilities too.” Deputy Manager Sarah Kerr will be staffing the Southampton office. Sarah has worked for the charity for over 10 years and has a wealth of experience. Basepoint Business Centre, Unit 27, Andersons Road, Southampton, SO14 5FE 02380 682552 |

Wessex Lodge Ofsted Result Wessex Lodge recently underwent an Ofsted inspection and were awarded a ‘Good’ grade. The report commented that ‘Relationships between young people are nurtured. Staff are good at ensuring young people’s communication method is known and used. This reduces young people’s frustration and episodes of challenging behaviour. Staff prepare young people’s bedrooms in an individualised manner. This makes the environment homely and contributes to young people’s sense of security when they are having a short break.’ Wessex Lodge is open all year round and provides both short term and long term breaks for children and young people from 3-19 years of age. Manager of Wessex Lodge, Matt Burton, can be contacted on 01202 331556 or emailed at Further details can be found via

Autism Wessex

Winter 2013

Portfield School to Launch New Website Following the charity’s new look and name which was officially launched in February 2013, work continues to improve communications across the organisation’s services.

carers to navigate as well as allowing the school to communicate emergency information to parents, such as school closures due to extreme weather conditions.

for the popularity of accessing websites this way. It is hoped the Portfield School microsite will work as a ‘go to’ resource for parents and professionals alike.

Portfield School will soon have a dedicated website, the site address will be

The site has been developed to be mobile responsive, allowing it to be viewed on mobile phones and other hand held devices. Evaluation shows that the majority of people who visit our website do so via mobile phones. This will also ensure the site is future proof. Our main website at uk will also be mobile enabled soon to cater

We would value your thoughts on the new site and invite you to take a look and let us know what you think. We will monitor activity and continue to develop the site based on feedback and evaluation.

The site will contain information about our educational provision at Portfield School as well as residential and respite information. The site will make it easier for parents and

Advocacy Services Launch New Database

Karen Wilmshurst, Advocacy Services Manager, with the first three people to sign up to the database. L-R: Amy Pickford, Karen Wilmshurst, Jason Croasdell and Nigel Harris (sitting).

We are the lead organisation for a new database that will record the details of adults with autism across Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole to provide statistical and evidential data to health, social care and voluntary organisations.

Autism Wessex will maintain the database, which will be held on our secure servers. Everyone who registers will be contacted annually to ensure their details are accurate and up to date.

The confidential database, inclusion on which is completely voluntary, has been created with the aim of improving local services for people with autism. Funded by a two-year grant from the NHS, it will capture information such as demographics, use of social care services and benefits and types of housing to provide statistical data to statutory organisations.

To sign up to the database, visit For more information, contact our Information and Advice team on 01305 213135 or email

Autism Wessex

Winter 2013

Fundraising Events The fundraising team is always looking for new and exciting ideas to help raise vital funds for the charity. This year, as well as our ever popular running series, we have hosted golf days, acoustic music nights, bike rides, quizzes, and even a very popular dog walk. If you have any ideas or would like us to benefit from an event you are organising, we would love to hear from you.

Cyclists from Yeovil, Tim Hotham (325) & Martin Bailey (326)

Bike Ride Challenge Success £1600 has been raised in event entries and sponsorship as a result of the charity’s inaugural bike ride challenge. The 33 mile challenge started in Dorchester and finished at Portfield School in Parley, near Christchurch. Sponsored by Meggitts, who covered all costs of the event, we intend to hold a similar bike ride event in the future. If you would be interested in taking part in such a challenge, or have any ideas for new events you would like to see us host, we would love to hear from you.

Moors Valley Run Please join us at Moors Valley County Park for our winter run on 29th December from 11am. A 10k run and a family friendly 2k will take you through the forest track and blow the Christmas cobwebs away. The 10k run costs just £10 in advance or £15 on the day. The 2k run costs £3 in advance or £5 on the day. Please encourage friends and family to sponsor your efforts as this additional income makes all the difference to us! Call Paul Reade for a sponsorship form on 01202 703597. Places can be booked online via

‘Give as you live’ this Christmas... For those of you who haven’t yet completed your Christmas shopping please ‘Give as you Live’ this Christmas. Give as you live is a website that gives to us every time you shop with no cost to you! Help those with autism this Christmas by following these three simple steps: 1. Register on and make Autism Wessex your chosen charity. 2. Thousands of leading brands have signed up to donate to your favourite charity a percentage of everything you spend online. All at no cost to you. 3. Buy all your gifts for your loved ones this Christmas and support those affected by autism at the same time. Contact us on 01202 703595 or email for more information.

Christmas carol concert One of our favourite events of the year is booked to take place on Tuesday 10th December at the stunning Priory Church in Christchurch from 7pm. A real festive treat for all the family this event promises to put you in the mood for Christmas. The Funky Little Choir Company will be joining us again for a seasonal sing along. This is a FREE event with no need to book in advance. Please come along and join us on the night.

Christmas Raffle You will find enclosed with this newsletter a book of raffle tickets for you to purchase if you wish. Prizes this year include winning an Audi TT for the weekend, an Audi watch, a 5 star stay at Careys Manor in the heart of the New Forest and 2 vouchers for complimentary tickets for ‘AFC Bournemouth Home League Game’ before the end of March 2014, as well as numerous other prizes. Just remember, you’ve got to be in it to win it!

Fundraising Dates for your Diary • Rock ‘n’ Roll evening Fri 22nd Nov • Acoustic Music Night Feb (Exact date TBC) • Bike Ride Challenge March (Exact date TBC) • Abseil March (Exact date TBC) Events can be booked online, or to register your interest please contact Paul Reade on 01202 703597.

Thank You We would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the work of Autism Wessex. For recent contributions we would like to thank; Meggitts; Williams Thompson Solicitors LLP; Basepoint Business Centre Bournemouth; Forelle Estates; TOWRY Investment Bankers; Waitrose Christchurch; Sandra Atrill; House of Colour; KJ Associates; Empire Cinemas; Bank of New York Mellon; Paycare Charity Trust; Sherborne Castle Country Fair committee; Jon Leavitt and Nick Brown; Cate Barnes from Battens; Darren Greaves and Mark Langford; John Murray; Chris Potter; Ruth Wild; Liz Emery; Helen Woods; Andrea Burt; and Poole Rotary.

Autism Wessex Bargates Court, 22 Bargates Christchurch BH23 1QL

T 01202 483360 E W

Registered Charity No. 1000792

Autism Wessex Winter Newsletter 2013  
Autism Wessex Winter Newsletter 2013  

Autism Wessex Winter Newsletter 2013