This month saw me campaign for a better deal for families affected by autism. I was contacted by Stockton South MP, Dr Paul Williams, to ask if I would like to attend a Parliamentary debate on waiting times for autism diagnosis and I jumped at the chance. Before attending I managed to speak to some of the families who use Daisy Chain’s services and put a call out for stories of how waiting many years for a diagnosis of autism has negatively affected people’s lives. 

It was my first time at a parliamentary debate and I was delighted that both Paul and Alex Cunningham, Daisy Chain’s local MP, both mentioned Daisy Chain and told the stories of local people. Unfortunately, the Health Minister couldn’t commit to setting a target for the time it takes for families to receive a diagnosis of autism so there’s still work to be done. 

It’s also been a busy month at the Daisy Chain Superstore on Portrack Lane. We’ve refurbished the Superstore and added more signage and information so people know all about the good work they’re supporting when they pick up a bargain! The Coffee Shop has also had a make over and has launched a new menu. The Superstore is more than just a charity shop; it is an integral part of Daisy Chain, providing training and volunteering opportunities as well as raising essential funds to enable us to do our work. 

So, busy times ahead – more work to ensure families receive a diagnosis of autism as quickly as possible, more development at our Superstore and, in the coming months, the launch of our new strategic plan and refreshed Vision, Mission and Values. Never a dull moment at Calf Fallow Farm but hearing the children and young people playing and laughing as I leave work on an evening reminds me why I love my job and reminds me that all of our hard work is worth it. 

To find our more about the services and events at Daisy Chain please contact us on 01642 531248 or visit our website www.daisychainproject.co.uk

Stuart Dexter – Daisy Chain Chief Executive. 3rd Oct 2017