local charity

Jigsaw Trust: Inspired By Autism

Jigsaw Trust is a local charity based on Dunsfold Park in Surrey supporting children and adults with autism. Operating Jigsaw School for children aged 4-19 years and Jigsaw Plus for adults aged 18 and over. The aims of Jigsaw Trust are to improve the lives of those with autism and to promote a greater knowledge and understanding of the disorder. Founded on the principle of excellence through continual learning, the Trust aspires to provide the highest quality of education and lifelong learning possible.

Jigsaw, like most schools, teaches the National Curriculum. In addition, there is a focus on developing communication and life skills, providing a positive and fun learning experience for the pupils. The Jigsaw Plus Centre for Lifelong Learning provides opportunities for clients to explore various vocational, learning and wellbeing activities in a safe and supportive environment.

Jigsaw Trust’s professional approach to supporting individuals with autism comes through in every aspect of what they do. With 1-1 and small group teaching, Jigsaw School is able to ensure that each child is getting the necessary attention that they need to flourish. The adults in the Jigsaw Plus programme receive the same level of support, with a comprehensive curriculum focusing on a range of vital subjects divided into six main categories; key skills, independent living skills, personal development, improving well-being, vocational skills and creative & performing arts.

The charity aims to accelerate learning and promote the ability to learn in new ways, whilst simultaneously acquiring the necessary skills to learn independently through behavioural methods. Based upon the Applied Behaviour Analysis technique (ABA), Jigsaw provides comprehensive and highly individualised programmes which teach verbal, cognitive and social skills, thereby increasing independence. All of this is carried out by a highly-trained team of staff of the highest standards within this sphere of teaching and learning. In addition, Jigsaw Trust has one of the UK’s leading behavioural experts as its Director of Education and ABA Consultant; an active Governing Body and Board of Trustees, as well as eminent, visiting consultants in the field of ABA from Columbia University, New York and Nicholls State University, Louisiana.

Jigsaw Trust not only has as incredibly dedicated and highly-trained faculty, it also boasts an impressive set of facilities. The Tardis-like school building is modern, spacious and well-equipped; the colourful, art-filled walls create a fun and welcoming space that any child would be glad to spend their days in. Most impressive of all are the specialist rooms that provide fun, safe and calming environments for the pupils. The quality of the facilities on offer at Jigsaw are thanks in no small part to the kindness and generosity of trusts, foundations, local businesses and individuals without whom the charity would never have been able to afford such wonderful equipment. The fundraising never stops, however, as in order for Jigsaw Trust to continue providing their crucial services, the facilities must be continually added to and upgraded in a manner that tuition fees alone cannot manage.

Being able to provide pupils and clients with the right equipment to learn and develop skills is a vital component of what Jigsaw Trust does. It is for this reason that the importance of fundraising donations cannot be underestimated. Without them Jigsaw would not develop and expand to provide the range of resources and equipment that are so important for their pupils. Thanks to donations made in the past, the school has been able to add a sensory room, food tech room, early years sensory play area and a library among others.

Want to help?

There are so many ways you can get involved with Jigsaw Trust and help them make a difference in the lives of their service users.

Donate

One-off or regular donations are so important to Jigsaw Trust. Whether you are able to make a personal donation, organise a fundraiser or sponsor Jigsaw through your business, your donation will go so far towards providing quality resources for the pupils and clients. To find out more about making a donation, click here.

Volunteer

If you are unable to make a donation, what about giving some of your time to help Jigsaw Trust? There are ongoing opportunities to volunteer for Jigsaw, who are looking for enthusiastic and reliable volunteers to help across the charity. Out of pocket expenses will be paid. There is flexibility with working hours and days, however consistent commitment is required. To find out more about volunteering for Jigsaw Trust, click here.

Spread The Word

Another great way to help Jigsaw Trust is simply to spread the word! Follow their social media accounts and help by sharing their posts to your friends, family and/or followers.

Jigsaw Trust on Facebook: click here

Jigsaw Trust on Twitter: click here

Other Ideas?

If you’ve got other great ideas about how to help, then click here to contact Jigsaw Trust.

Jigsaw Trust Jigsaw School autism Surrey charity


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Have you heard about Surrey-based charity LinkAble?

Meet LinkAble: the Surrey charity empowering those with learning disabilities

Since 1989 LinkAble has been helping children, young people and adults with learning disabilities by providing a range of sporting and social activities in and around the community. The charity, based in Woking, supports individuals with a broad range of learning disabilities, and offers a range of activities for all ages. This support is offered from early childhood with no upper age limit, enabling friendships to be developed and maintained, potentially for life – something the service users and their families say is very important for them.

LinkAble operate the majority of their activities out of a purpose designed building called The Link, which was refurbished with the specific needs of their users in mind in 2014. The premises features a special playroom with sensory equipment to help stimulate and engage users, an indoor soft play area and an outdoor play area with an accessible climbing frame. The main hall supports a range of group activities from discos and quizzes to table tennis and yoga. There is even an outside area used to grow flowers, fruit and vegetables that can also be utilised as an area for a range of social and play activities.

LinkAble have a simple mission statement: “to enable those with learning disabilities to develop their potential and enjoy socially inclusive fulfilled lives” – and this is clearly reflected in all the work that they do. However, despite doing such a wonderful job in Surrey for so many years, the team at LinkAble worry that many families and individuals who could benefit hugely from the services they provide are still not yet aware of what they offer.

LinkAble divides its services into three different age groups; Children (ages 4-11), Youth (ages 12-17), and Adult (age 18+).  The activities for children focus on enabling play and enjoyment, connecting with others and developing friendship through social interaction, and development in a safe and secure environment. The main activity for this age group during term time is Saturday Play which runs from 10am-2pm for 39 weeks of the year and is extremely popular with the children and their families. During the school holidays the charity provide four weeks of summer activities, one week at each of the three half terms and at Easter and two days at Christmas.

The youth age group have their own set of activities which focus on enabling choice and fun, developing social interaction and making friends and connecting with others. This is achieved during term time via a weeknight youth club in Surrey Heath, as well as a Saturday activities session from 2:30-5:30pm for 39 weeks of the year. In school holidays LinkAble provide four weeks of summer activities, one week at each of the three half terms and at Easter and two days at Christmas.

In addition to the above, LinkAble provides Transition Groups for young people aged 16+ to help them adjust to adulthood. These groups run for people aged 16-25 and include drama, music and social groups, as well as the High Notes Choir which is open to anyone aged 16 and over.

Much of the support for adult users of LinkAble’s services focuses on building key skills for living and nurturing independence. In addition to this, the charity also helps adult users by enabling social interaction and friendships whilst encouraging them to try new things and have fun. This is mainly achieved via the We Can Do Anything programme which has been developed from the activities funded by the Big Lottery Fund. This key programme now offers a range of daytime courses covering anything from health and fitness to craft and enterprise skills, and is something the charity are keen to develop further. In addition, LinkAble also offer their adult users a range of other activities including social groups, drama, sport, music and the High Notes Choir, as well as a regular nightclub evening which is very popular and often has over 200 attendees. There is even an annual ski trip for a group of adult service users.

Want To Help?

One way in which we can all help the charity continue to raise its profile is by simply following their social media accounts and sharing their posts so that more and more people can see what great work they do.

LinkAble on Facebook: Click here

LinkAble on Twitter: Click here

LinkAble is heavily dependent on voluntary donations and fundraising. Every time they receive a gift from generous supporters making a donation, taking on a fundraising challenge, putting on an event or encouraging others to do likewise, it plays a vital role in continuing to enable their vital work. LinkAble currently runs over 20 groups and activities each week and it is support like yours which will continue to make this possible – it costs the charity over £100,000 every year to keep their services running.

If you would like to find out more about fundraising or making a donation to LinkAble then please click here.

In addition to financial support, there are also a number of volunteering roles available. To find out more, please click here.

LinkAble Woking Surrey charity learning disabilities


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