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Hartlepool firm's £11,000 charity donation will boost autism services for town families

JDR Cable Systems staff at their annual summer ball at Hardwick Hall Hotel, which raised cash for autism charities.
JDR Cable Systems staff at their annual summer ball at Hardwick Hall Hotel, which raised cash for autism charities.

A substantial injection of cash from a Hartlepool company has given a local autism support charity the opportunity to boost services for the town.

Daisy Chain is to launch a series of extra services for Hartlepool families affected by autism starting with a special activities day – all thanks to support from JDR Cable Systems.

JDR, the leading supplier of subsea power cables and umbilicals to the global energy industry, raised £11,000 for Daisy Chain through its spectacular annual ball.

The money will pay for a series of activities for Hartlepool families – the first of which is an activity day on Sunday, October 28, at the charity’s farm base in Norton.

Families will be offered return transport from Hartlepool to access the event.

The activities and events are in response to a demand from Hartlepool families who wanted to access Daisy Chain but travel was often an issue.

On the day, families will be treated to a whole host of fun activities including a circus workshop, fun things to do on the petting farm with the animals as well as the soft play, computers and games.

Laura Leaf, deputy head of services, said: "It will be a great day for families from Hartlepool to come and see what we offer at Daisy Chain.

"As well as all the activities, families will be able to enjoy a relaxed environment which is autism friendly and set up to allow them the time and space to have fun that is not always possible in a mainstream environment."

Earlier in 2018, Daisy Chain set up a parent support group in Hartlepool in response to a growing demand for specialist autism support services in the town as many families struggled to access the day centre and farm in Norton on a regular basis.

The Hartlepool Links parent support group is funded by NHS Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees Clinical Commissioning Group which allocates funds to the Health Initiatives Programme run by Catalyst, Stockton’s Voluntary Development Agency.

Meetings are every Monday morning 10am until noon at West View Resource Centre on Miers Avenue.

Parents and carers of anyone with autism or undergoing diagnosis are welcome to attend.

In the last year, registration of Hartlepool families to Daisy Chain’s services has increased by 40%, with 25 parents registering for the Links support group.

A total of 1,348 direct hours of support to parents and young people has been provided with 677 appointments carried out.

The activity day will be followed by a trip to the pantomime for a relaxed performance of Cinderella.

In the new year there will be a six-week Teen Life course running from January 7 to February 11 every Monday from 12.30pm–3pm, also at the West View Resource Centre.

Mandy Marriner, one of the organisers of the JDR charity ball, said: "It’s important to us as a major employer in Hartlepool to ensure we give back to the community.

"Daisy Chain is a local charity and has identified a need for services to support families with autism in the town, so we were delighted to be able to raise funds to support those services."

Laura added: "This is just the start of what we are offering – there are plans to introduce more activities and events for Hartlepool families which gives them the opportunity to benefit from specialist autism events and training which they can easily access close to home."

Anyone interested in booking for any of the activities or training should call Daisy Chain on 01642 531248.