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Cycling at Dunbeth Park – Sunday 23rd

HOPE will be hosting our summer cycling session on Sunday 23rd July, at Dunbeth park. The session is free to members and will run from 12pm-2pm. Please bring your own bike and wear weather-suitable clothing.

If anyone needs to collect a bike for the session, they will be able to collect one from The HOPE Centre from 11:20am. We have a limited supply of bikes so these will be first come first serve, but can also help to dismantle and rebuild bikes.

Please note family swimming at Shotts on Sunday afternoon is now FREE!

Digital Safeguarding – Teenagers and Young Adults (14+)

HOPE is hosting a Digital Safeguarding session for young adults on Wednesday 26th July, 2pm-3:30pm at the HOPE Centre.

HOPE has arranged for a group info session on digital safeguarding aimed at our teens and young adults. The talk will include information on staying safe on social media, internet usage, online gaming, and sharing sensitive information online, with the opportunity for a question and answer session too.

Please let your young people know that the session is on and comment below or call the office on 01236779191 to sign up. If there’s anything in particular they’d like to discuss or would like some information on, please let me know.

If your young person is younger than 14 but you would like some information on how to keep them safe online, please come to our parent and family talk on the same issues on Monday 24th, 7pm-8:30pm.

If anyone would like to attend, please contact the HOPE office on 01236779191 or emailed

Please note, this event is for HOPE members only.

Digital Safeguarding – Parents

HOPE is hosting a Digital Safeguarding session for parents on Monday 24th July, 7pm-8:30pm at the HOPE Centre.

We will be presenting an information session on digital safeguarding and general online safety for parents and family members at HOPE. This will include advice on how to talk to your young people about staying safe online, practical advice on how you can help to keep them safe, and an opportunity to have questions answered as well. The talk is aimed at parents of any age group.

If anyone would like to attend, please contact the HOPE office on 01236779191 or emailed

please note, this event is for HOPE members only.

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