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Family Orienteering – Sunday 16th July


Our Family Orienteering session will run this Sunday 16th July at Dunbeth Park, Coatbridge from 11.30 – 1.00 PM. Reminder no cycling on this date. All members welcome but places MUST be pre-booked!

Reduced Summer Office Presence

Due to our regular group activities being off for summer time, there will be a reduced office presence in HOPE over the month of July. It may therefore take longer than usual for HOPE to respond to any phonecalls, messages, or emails, however we will respond to all contact as soon as possible.

We ask that you take this into consideration when awaiting a response, but if you do need to get in contact then please do not hesitate to do so.

A Child’s Perspective

When supporting children and young people with autism, it is always useful and beneficial to those being supported to imagine and understand things from their perspective. Meeting one person with autism means you have met one person with autism, but any perspective can lend itself to increased understanding and awareness for people working to support those with autism.

To help us see what it’s like from a young person’s perspective, one of our members has recorded his thoughts and feelings. Shay, aged 11, has been with us for a few years and has recorded this message:



‘I really like structure to my day and following routines. Showing me this visually really helps. Please prepare me for changes and new situations in advance. I can cope with change but I really need a heads up.

Please don’t talk too much to me, too much verbal information can be very overwhelming. Keep sentences short and simple. Give me time to process what you have said. Understand that I may not be able to shift my focus rapidly, from one task to the next. I need more time to do this; either expect me to look or listen to you, I find it difficult to do both at the same time.

When I am not looking at you, it doesn’t mean I am not listening, it can actually mean the opposite. I may spin or engage in repetitive behaviour because it brings me comfort and a sense of safety. It can help me to feel calm, particularly if I am in a busy or noisy environment.

Please don’t underestimate my thinking or abilities, I may know a lot more than what you think.

Please, please, please do things with me that build my confidence and self-esteem. It can be difficult being reprimanded or corrected all the time. Respect me for who I am – I am doing all that I can to make sense of this complex world that we live in.

I am here in your class, this is a huge achievement for me, it takes a lot of energy and effort for me to be here. See me as an individual.

My autism creates many difficulties for me but I have many strengths. Help me and other children around me to see this too.’


A special thanks goes to Shay and his family for allowing us to use and share this recording.

Learn to Ride a Bike with HOPE!

HOPE’s Learn to Ride a Bike sessions are back!

Classes have been filled and are already underway. We’re off to a great start and would like to extend a massive thanks to the parents for helping out.

Majella Kerr, our SGW for Sports is delighted at the progress already. “We had families taking part and every single group member had time on the bikes. Two boys in the group even cycled for the first time!”

Well done to all who are taking part. It is fantastic the progress of all the young people who are eager to learn. From those who have some experience of being on a bike to those who peddled for the first time, the commitment and energy from all the group has been hugely rewarding.

Staff used the group’s interest in Mario and friends to tailor the class specifically and make it more enjoyable for the young people. This is a commonly used technique due to the fantastic results that can be achieved through tapping into young peoples’ own interests and likes.

Cycling classes will continue on through summer. If anyone would like any more information on this or future cycling opportunities, please contact the HOPE office on 01236779191 or email

We can’t wait to see the future successes of the group, and would like to extend a big congratulations to Majella for organising a great session!



Volunteer of the Month, May 2017 – Marline Albert

Congratulations to Marline Albert, this month’s Volunteer of the Month!

Marline assists in the operational and administrative aspects of HOPE, assisting our project administrator, autism lead coordinator, and senior group workers in preparing documentation, resources, and record keeping.

She has been a weekly volunteer in HOPE for over two years and is an asset to the organisation. Marline always has a smile on her face and brightens up the office.

We are delighted to recognise her commitment to HOPE and would like to thank her for her dedication and hard work.

Volunteer of the Month, Feb 2017 – Ewan McGowan-Lally

Hi everyone, this is the first month of our new ‘Volunteer of the Month Award’, which we set up to recognize all the amazing hard work and effort of our staff team who volunteer at HOPE.

Senior Group Workers are allowed to nominate one volunteer each who has consistently demonstrated a postive attitude, initiative, and commitment to helping the children and young people who attend our groups.

This month the volunteer with the most nominations was

Ewan McGowan-Lally.

We thought we would share with you in wishing Ewan congratulations and say a big thank you to all our volunteers!

PDA Support Group Meetings

A support group for parents/carers affected by pathological demand avoidance (PDA) is taking place in The HOPE Centre. This group is hosted by parents with knowledge of PDA, a rare form of autism recognised by the National Autistic Society. Your child does not need a diagnosis to attend this group; please come along if you would like to join in.


Dates of PDA Support Meetings in 2017:

Thursday 1 June

Thursday 3 August

Thursday 7 September

Thursday 5 October

Thursday 2 November

HOPE for Autism Annual 10k Walk – 27th May

HOPE are pleased to announce details of their 5th Annual 10K Walk For HOPE. This fundraiser will take place on Saturday 27th May, leaving at 10am from the HOPE Centre in Airdrie. All ages are welcome to participate and there will be a shorter walk available for young people.

Entry is £20 (adults) £10 (kids). This cost includes a t-shirt and lunch buffet after the walk. Further details are available in the downloadable entry form (attached).

There are Entry and also Sponsor forms available in the Centre or these can be emailed.

Come along and join in the fun raising awareness and funds for HOPE 🙂

Please note closing date for entries is 20th May 2017.

Co-op Fundraising Final Total Reaches £3,374.93

A phenomenal £3,374.93 has been raised in aid of HOPE through the Co-op Community Fund.

This fantastic donation is gratefully received by all at HOPE and is a valuable contribution towards the continued development of our organisation and services.

This funding comes from co-op members and customers who selected HOPE for Autism as their chosen community cause. Co-op members added to the total raised every time they bought selected co-op branded products and services, from loafs of bread to planned funeral care.

After the funding period for our Local Community Fund project ended on April 8th, HOPE was delighted to receive a donation alongside more than 4,000 causes across the UK.

A heartfelt thank you goes out to all who contributed and selected HOPE as they’re chosen community cause, and to everyone involved at the Co-op.

Spring Newsletter

HOPE’s spring newsletter is now available!

Inside is news about our work with Scottish Autism, our upcoming Befriending Project, and an update about our Waiting List.

You’ll also find feedback from our staff about our groups and information about recent donations and upcoming fundraising events.

Download the newsletter here: Spring Newsletter 2017