The current situation with coronavirus (COVID-19) has had a huge impact on the services that Daisy Chain is able to offer to local families affected by autism.

However, in the face of adversity, the charity is committed to continue providing support to service users as best they can during these unprecedented and challenging times.

Following recent developments related to COVID-19 and the Government’s closure of schools, colleges and nurseries, Daisy Chain has taken the difficult decision to cancel all services until further notice.

Daisy Chain is a lifeline to many families living in the Tees Valley and surrounding areas; the impact the cancellation of services will have on their lives will be dramatic, as many will become isolated from the peer support and social interaction that is so beneficial to them as a family. Added to this the disruption in daily routines with recommendations of home-working and school closures being enforced, these factors will all lead to increased stress and anxiety of how to cope in the current climate.

The charity, which supports over 2,400 families, and its dedicated staff will be diversifying their service offering to introduce a telephone support service, allowing people to discuss their own needs and be signposted towards helpful resources and strategies to support them during these uncertain times. The service will be open to parents/carers of children as well as young people and adults affected by autism living in the local area.

Neeraj Sharma, Daisy Chain CEO, said: “We are immensely proud of our role within the local community and the support we provide to our families. In these difficult times, we will make every effort possible to continue to do so whilst putting measures in place to protect everyone involved from the current risk.
“The dedication shown by our staff and care team has been phenomenal; in the world we find ourselves in, their commitment and passion to continue to provide support services to local families affected by autism has been overwhelming, and I can’t thank them enough. We hope that families who access our newly implemented telephone support service will find it beneficial and will ease the impact of the current circumstances.
“During these times, we must also consider the financial implications of the virus and the damaging impact on the charity. Inevitably, the pandemic we find ourselves in will have a detrimental effect on our finances, with the charity set to lose a substantial amount of income. This could, in the longer-term, threaten the charity’s sustainability. We hope that the local community will continue their vital support to us during these uncertain times.”

The service is open to young people, adults and families of those affected by neurodevelopmental disorders. Our aim is to provide support and services for those who display traits associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), sensory processing differences, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The service is for those pre, during and post diagnosis.

The team are supporting families with the following:

  • responding to enquiries from parents, young people and adults and carrying out telephone appointments
  • sourcing, sharing and sending resource packs to support parents with loneliness and isolation
  • creating and sending bespoke resources and visuals

The telephone support service is on freephone number 0800 031 5445 and is available 9am-9pm on a Monday and Tuesday, and 8am-7pm Wednesday to Friday.

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