Hamilton Academical FC recognised an identified need within the community to support families affected by Autism and is proud to have established a strong network partnership within this specialist area of the community, sharing information and support among practitioners, various autism network partners, third sector businesses, non-profit organisations, local charities, NHS Scotland and local authorities throughout Scotland. This will allow parents, children/adults affected by autism, their siblings and wider family to feel valued, understood and reminded of the positives being part of their community can bring.
To support and recognise the caring role identified within the autism community, the weekly Parent/Carer Support group is a safe and welcoming environment to allow parents and carers to give support and advice to each other under a new style of approach. There is an abundance of help, support, opportunities and resource available to your family. All of which fall within the four main areas identified as core family values:
- Health & Wellbeing
- Education, Training & Employment
- Sport & Recreational Activities
- Finance, Welfare Rights, Grant & Funding opportunities.
The programme aims to ensure all families across Scotland are given a clear and concise pathway to finding the suitable support as and when required whilst ensuring they receive optimum care from statutory and non-statutory services.
If you are interested in learning more about Autism Support in the Community, or wish to register, please call Community Outreach on 01698 368650, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website www.hamiltonacciesfc.co.uk/community/community-outreach/
Escape for Summer Programme
The Parents/Carers were able to access support, therapies, and person-centred activities while their children with an ASD and their siblings were able to participate in supportive workshops and activities. These activities included Relax Kids, Football, Drama, Music, Art, Micro-fitness and as much outdoor play as possible, all held within the Children’s Escape Area. This specially constructed play area features a beach, swing park, trampoline and dungeons to play in, as well as crazy golf and some great healthy food and refreshments freely available for children attending.
Organised day trips to the Yard and Almond Valley and end of session Open Day, where all children received a medal for their participation from some of the Hamilton Acccies Players, rounded off a great summer for those who may have otherwise had no support, social interaction and fun!
Lynn Shaw, Community Outreach Co-ordinator, Carolanne Fallone representing the ASD Parent Support Group and of course with the help of all staff from the Football Club ensured the pilot programme was a great success. The project was funded by Lanarkshire’s Caring for Carers and outcomes were so encouraging for Carers that the Club have been able to package together events and activities for families for the October break.
Football Fans in Training
The Accies offer their 12 week Football Fans in Training programme for men aged 23-65 and trouser waist size 38+ inches to assist them in losing weight, having a healthier lifestyle and ultimately getting fitter. The programme is currently underway and is going well.
Fathers/carers who have children with an ASD, along with and one gentleman who is autistic, are enjoying their weekly training schedule, diet and nutritional advice and general health and wellbeing information from the Club’s Sport Scientist, Colin Clancy. The men have commented on how spending time with other males in similar situations to themselves, despite the subject not being the main focus of conversation, has increased their levels of confidence, helped reduce their stress levels and anxieties. Many of the men have lost weight, while others have reported feeling in better health and are looking at areas within their personal lives which they can change for the better, in order to help them better
sustain challenges faced on a daily basis.
As the programme reaches its half-way mark, the men are soon to begin discussing their plans to create their own Father/Male Carer/ ASD Support Group, which will operate from the Football Club.
The Club has already formed a weekly Parent Carer Support Group who meet every Monday from 9.30-11.30 am and on Wednesday evenings from 6.30–8.30pm. This group is predominantly attended by females though not closed to males who would wish to join them.
If you would be interested in attending, please contact Community Outreach Manager Garry King on 01698 368650 for additional information.
For more information on the Football Fans in Training group, please contact Catriona McRoberts on 07957 876019 or send her an email.
Autism Triage Scotland
The organisers of the Hamilton Accies Community Outreach Programme also administrate a group called Autism Triage Scotland. The aim of Autism Triage Scotland is to ensure all families across Scotland, are given a clear and concise pathway to finding the suitable support as and when required whilst ensuring they receive optimum care from statutory and non-statutory services.
Their website currently provides supportive links and information and will also host a wealth of ASD exclusive events, advertisements and promotional campaigns. There is also regular participation from various autism network partners, third sector businesses, non-profit organisations, local charities, NHS Scotland and local authorities throughout Scotland.
Please visit www.autismtriagescotland.com
There is also a Facebook discussion group: www.facebook.com/groups/autismtriagescotland