NAS Branches Update – November 2010 This is the latest update from the National Autistic Society to let branches know what’s going on in areas of interest to them. If you have any interesting branch news or events that you would like to share with other branches please let us know so that we can put it in the next edition for you. Please email us at [email protected]

In this month’s update: 1.














Could Branch Treasurers please send their completed B1 Finance forms to Pam Parkes so we can get up to date before the end of the calendar year, 31 December 2010. As always thanks very much for your continued support. If you have any queries please contact Pam at [email protected] or 0115 8473505.



Free training for branch volunteers! If you fancy polishing your IT skills or learning something new but don’t have time to join a course, then take a look at the charity e-learning consortium available to all branches! This is a free service available to all volunteers and covers a wide range of courses all available online.


Please see the attachment for available courses. If you would like to sign up, please contact your Regional Team.

Contact us!! If














[email protected].



Successful launch of the Milton Keynes Branch! On Thursday 12 November over 200 parents, children, professionals and volunteers gathered to celebrate the launch of the new Milton Keynes branch of the National Autistic Society. The event was the culmination of months of hard work and preparation by Alison Haith and the rest of the committee and was a real success. The launch was held at 360 Play who provided their fantastic play barn to the branch for free, ensuring that parents and children alike had a lot of fun.

The night included speeches by Dr Yogi Thakker, Nick Jackman, Head of the Walnuts School and Mel Car, South East Regional Coordinator and finished with some delicious cake which I’m sure you’ll agree looked great!

The South East Regional Team would like to thank to branch for all their hard work and wish them lots of success for the future.

If you have a branch success story that you would like us to shout about, please let Jamie know on [email protected] as we love to hear them!




Looking for a Christmas activity? Why not enter our competition to design a card for Christmas 2011?

Even though Christmas is fast approaching, you still have the chance to enter our competition to design a card for 2011. Perhaps you, your child, or someone you know, could join J. Williams, an 18-year-old with Asperger syndrome and 7-year-old Jay as winners!

This competition is for children and adults who are on the autism spectrum. The deadline for submitting your entry is 15 February 2011, and Jane Asher, NAS President, will judge the entries. One winning design from each of the adult and child categories will be made into a card and sold as part of the 2011 range. As well as helping to raise vital funds for the NAS, the winners will also get 50 cards of their own design to send to family and friends.

Don’t forget to buy your NAS Christmas cards to raise money for your branch!

Visit to enter the competition and to buy your Christmas cards

Children and young people with autism and their families offer advice on coping with Christmas A group of families with children affected by autism have got together to produce a film offering advice on dealing with the Christmas period, and are inviting other families from around the UK to get involved and add to the discussion.

Young people from the families that are featured attend a social group in Bristol. The film will be on our website from Wednesday 1 December and we’re encouraging parents and carers and people affected by autism to go online, watch the film and then add their comments or












at Please could you forward this link to people in your branch and others who might be interested. It is the culmination of all your comments that will make it a success – therefore we need lots of people visiting the pages!



Trust applications If any branches are in the process of contacting trusts for funding please do check with the Trust Team in the first instance as we may already have a relationship with the trust and applications pending or funding already received.

Please do e-mail the trust fundraising team on [email protected]

All aboard! Train Walks are fun Thomas-themed sponsored walks for all the family. You can raise money for your own activities through Train Walk, or for the core funds, enabling services such as the Helpline, social groups and family support workers as well as campaigning to continue.

The new fundraising pack will be available in January, but you can pre-register for it now by visiting If you pre-register, we will send you a discount code for the HIT store, which sells Thomas and Friends toys and games, just in time for Christmas.

Button it! This week saw the launch of “The Celebrity Button Art Book” by Karen Gammon. Karen compiled the book herself, containing over 240 mini-masterpieces created by celebrities, around humble buttons. There are 5 charities that will benefit from the sale of the book, including the NAS. The charities were chosen by the celebrities themselves and there are works included in


the book from Joan Collins, Dawn French, Stephen Fry, Ewan McGregor, Joanna Lumley, Bill Nighy, Grayson Perry and JK Rowling. Each book costs £10 and the NAS will receive 16% of the profits. It can be purchased by visiting the Button Art web site -



Parent to Parent Service – 0800 9 520 520 Do you receive calls from parents who are looking for emotional support or who would just like the opportunity to speak in complete privacy to another parent?

Parent to Parent is the NAS’ free UK-wide confidential telephone support service for parents and carers of an adult or child on the autism spectrum. The service is delivered by trained parent volunteers; both mothers and fathers across the UK, who offer telephone support from their own homes, providing the opportunity for parents to talk through issues, feelings and problems. They do not offer advice but can signpost parents onto the best source of up to date information and advice within the NAS. All of our volunteers have personal experience of autism and the impact it has on their own families and want to do something to support others in similar situations.

Parents can call us on 0800 9 520 520 and leave a message on our 24 hour answer phone and we will call them back as soon as possible, at a time which suits them, including evenings and weekends.

Advice from the Advocacy for Education Service – Home to School Transport There have been a number of news reports recently suggesting that some Local Authorities are looking to reduce their budgets by cutting the amount spent on home to school transport.


Parents and carers can find out more about their rights and entitlements with regard to home to school transport by calling the National Autistic Society’s Advocacy for Education Service.

Our service can explain the transport eligibility criteria, to help parents work out what their child is legally entitled to. We can also help parents consider the options if their child does not meet the criteria or if the transport provided for their child is discretionary and not a legal entitlement. We recognise that this issue will be causing some level of anxiety for parents. We are not here

just to support them when things go wrong, but also to help much earlier to try to prevent problems occurring in the first place. Discussing options with one of our fully-trained volunteers will help parents plan the best way forward.

If you have any questions on this or any other topic regarding a child’s educational rights and entitlements call us on 0845 070 4002.


Branches Update Nov - Wales.pdf

Page 1 of 6. 1. NAS Branches Update – November 2010. This is the latest update from the National Autistic Society to let branches know what's going on in areas. of interest to them. If you have any interesting branch news or events that you would like to share with other branches. please let us know so that we can put it in ...

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