Our Scottish Award for Business Excellence 2019 winners, Scottish Autism host a new member of the Board for Carers of West Lothian

Our Scottish Award for Business Excellence 2019 winners Scottish Autism recently hosted Tyler Cameron, a new member of the Board for Carers of West Lothian who brings a young person's perspective, alongside our Head of Business Development, Ann Pike, in her role as Chair of the Board. Thank you in particular to David Harkins for his generous support. You can see an account from Tyler below:

"On the 15th July, myself and Carers of West Lothian Chair, Ann Pike visited David Harkins (the Quality and Risk Manager) at Scottish Autism at the head office in Alloa.  Ann offered me the experience after I expressed interest in Autism - my brother and I are both diagnosed and I have a keen interest in current and the future of provisions, help and opportunities available for autistic people. David took us to the Balmyre Centre which is a day/vocational service that provides its clients with many different options and activities. It is a therapeutic environment which includes a music room with a variety of instruments, areas to “chill out” and where service users can explore and dedicate time to their own personal projects and also a beauty/aromatherapy service that provides a relaxing and calming experience. The centre also provides an IT suite and a community Café, these are very worthwhile services as they provide structured environments where people can develop and improve both vocational and technological skills.

We then visited Gartinny Nurseries, a vocational day service and garden centre that is run by Scottish Autism. It allows its users to gain occupational skills – similar to the Balmyre Centre – along with horticultural skills, agricultural skills and knowledge about a multitude of plants. It also allows them to develop social skills through customer service, amongst other things. Gartinny Nurseries had an incredibly positive environment, and everyone seemed to enjoy and benefit from what the service provided – including both the customers and those that worked and/or volunteered there.

After our visit to Gartinny Nurseries, David brought us to Makers Café, a Scottish Autism community hub that aims to provide autistic people who are 16+ vocational opportunities, work experience and other skills in a structured and supported working environment. The café had a very welcoming and friendly environment and was a very calming and enjoyable experience.

Overall the visit was a very positive, enjoyable and unique experience.  It was very uplifting to see as an autistic adult, as it often feels that all resources relating to ASD are aimed at young children and there is very little support for adults and those who are out of education – Scottish Autism are providing rare and much needed services to Scotland’s autistic population."  

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