Polly Tommey, a mother from London with a son with autism and Founder of The Autism Trust will be opening Polly’s Place in Sunninghill, Ascot as the charity’s first retail, training and administrative facility on Friday 5th October 2012.
Polly Tommey set up The Autism Trust in 2006 to support the creation of a better future with real purpose for children everywhere with autism as her son Billy, approached his teenage years with very uncertain prospects for his own future.
Polly’s Place is an exciting new shop that has been developed as a social enterprise to help people with autism lead more fulfilling and rewarding lives. The retail training shop will provide both customer-‐facing and administrative experiences whilst showcasing artistic talents of people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Many vulnerable young adults with autism live at home, so Polly’s Place will promote home working and individual creativity as a recognisable and important contributor to the local economies of the UK encouraging high quality homemade/handmade products created through artisan skill to be celebrated.
At the very centre of all activities undertaken by The Autism Trust is the concept of “Wellbeing”. It is the core “mantra” of the organisation, the wellbeing of any person involved with the Trust is key. It is about identifying when a person with Autism is becoming stressed and giving them “time-‐out or a calm down break”. It is also about providing a range of strategies that will help the individual learn to cope with difficult situations.
A parallel programme: ‘AH-‐HA’ (Autistic Helping Hands in Ascot), will also be started by The Autism Trust in October to provide services for the local community. Initial projects will include garden tidying and maintenance to members of the local elderly at-‐home population.
Across both programme, young adults with autism will work in Polly’s Place and in the Helping Hands teams as employees undertaking a City and Guilds apprenticeship scheme and will be supported in their work by Job Coaches.
The vision of the Autism Trust is to create a future for young adults with Autism. Under the title of Real World Living, the concept is based on the right of young people with autism to a life that includes employment and training opportunities.
The Autism Trust is working towards future accommodation developments that will provide young people with autism with care-‐based housing providing a unique, well rounded and properly supported Real World Living life and experience.