1,000 signatures reached
To: West Berkshire Council
Save autism services for young people in West Berkshire
West Berkshire Council have decided to close down two essential respite schemes for children and young people with autism: The Oasis Club – a social club for young people with autism; and the Befriending scheme for young people with autism. These schemes are a lifeline for our children, and so we are asking West Berkshire Council to keep funding these essential services, and not to shut them down.
Why is this important?
Oasis and Befriending are essential to the wellbeing of our autistic children and are a lifeline for them and their families. They help them to learn how to socialise, make friends and to try activities like shopping, bowling or swimming – things that other kids often take for granted. Autistic children are not able to take part in these normal, everyday activities without support and understanding from people trained in autism. Young people with autism are very socially isolated and need expert help to learn social skills and to be around other people.
The Oasis Club and Befriending staff have specialist training and experience in autism which is essential in order to communicate with and support children with autism. Without these schemes, autistic children in West Berkshire will have nowhere to go. They will be denied what every child should have - a life with friends where they get to go out and do things in a safe environment with people who understand them and their differences.
“Our son had to be home educated for a number of years when depression and anxiety threatened to overwhelm him and the Oasis Club was particularly crucial in those years as his only opportunity to mix with other kids, and our only chance in the week to re-charge our ﬂagging batteries. Oasis has been the single biggest factor in his development from isolated, lonely and unhappy boy to the conﬁdent, sociable and happy young man he is today.”
We need your support to reverse this decision and ensure children with autism continue to have access to essential services.
Please sign this petition to tell West Berkshire Council:
• Not to shut down the Oasis Club
• Not to shut down the Befriending scheme
• Keep funding short breaks services for children with autism
Please help us to stop West Berkshire Council from closing down these vital services for autistic children.
The more people who sign the petition, the louder our voice.
Kate Lo, West Berkshire Branch of the National Autistic Society