Original article

An award-winning North East based charity, Daisy Chain, has been commissioned by the local partnership to improve and extend the offer of support for autistic people across Gateshead.

The hubs, funded by the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB), will be provided by Daisy Chain and Gateshead Family Hubs.

Daisy Chain was established in 2003 to support and empower autistic and neurodivergent individuals through the provision of holistic person-centred services while promoting training, wellbeing, inclusion and acceptance regionally and nationwide.

Daisy Chain has been commissioned to provide its offer through Gateshead Family Hubs which are located across the borough.

Gateshead Autism Hubs offer parents and carers of autistic children and young people (0-25 years) information, advice and support on a range of challenges that can impact autistic young people and their families. The Hubs provide drop-in sessions, peer support groups, and training for parents, carers, and professionals.

Every autistic individual has their own strengths, differences and needs, which is why varied support is essential for autistic people and their families to thrive.

Councillor Gary Haley, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at Gateshead Council, said: “Our Autism Hubs are a service we’re proud to provide our neurodivergent communities and it is brilliant news that we can improve and extend the offer with our new provider, Daisy Chain.

“By bringing in a provider with so much specialist knowledge of autism and neurodiversity, we can ensure that our families and practitioners are benefiting from inclusive support and training locally, while autistic people can feel empowered to thrive in their individuality and meet others through support groups.”

Jennifer Hewitt, Head of Children & Family Services at Daisy Chain, said:”We are delighted to have been chosen to deliver this much-needed service to people living in Gateshead. Working alongside the community and professionals we’ll be offering a range of services including multi-agency drop-in sessions, parent support groups, training and more.

“Building upon the existing hubs model is a huge step forward for Gateshead, and with an understanding of autism and neurodiversity increasing all the time, there are more people than ever who need our support.”

Lynn Wilson, Director of Place Gateshead, North East and North Cumbria ICB and Gateshead Council, said: “It can be difficult to find suitable support when you’re the parent or carer of an autistic person, or an autistic person yourself. Autism hubs bring together helpful, local information and a range of support for autistic people and associated neurodiversities.

“We are delighted that NENC ICB has been able to fund Gateshead Council, who have successfully commissioned Daisy Chain, to provide these much-needed hubs – they will make a huge difference to the quality of lives of the neurodivergent people in Gateshead.”

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