Kate and Craig Alewood have been coming to Daisy Chain as a family since 2011. Their son, George was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3 and a half. Most Saturdays they attend the Activity Days, Kate comes to the Links Parent Support Group and George comes to the Monday night social club after school.

When Kate comes to the Links Group she is able to bring youngest daughter Maggie who is looked after in the crèche. Their middle daughter Ellie is also involved in the Sibz Group at Daisy Chain. 

Kate says: “Daisy Chain is our favourite place-we love it. I don’t know what we would do without it, we can’t go to mainstream places. They’re busy and unpredictable and there are too many people. 

“It is a safe place, like a second home to us. Everyone is familiar to George and we can come as a family and all spend time together. It is invaluable and we wouldn’t get that anywhere else. We come nearly every Saturday and on Sunday we split up to give our other children more attention. 

“If we didn’t have Daisy Chain, I think most of our time would be spent trying to stay away from each other because it’s too hard. I come on a Thursday morning too for the parent support group getting ideas for strategies. It can be very challenging dealing with Autism; some days are better than others. 

It affects everything because George has a lot of sensory problems. He makes big movements and noises, which attracts attention and he’s starting to realise that people are looking at him, he’ll get cross with them. 

It is knowing what’s upset him sometimes, because he’s not always able to communicate his needs to me. He also has trouble sleeping. 

He has a lot of anger issues, even without the ADHD I think he would have them. He can’t convey his own emotions or doesn’t recognise how he feels. He can be calm one minute then get really angry, then he becomes upset and cries, he can be very emotional. 

He’ll say I’m not a nice boy, which is upsetting because he’s a lovely boy, kind, lovely, caring and has a brilliant sense of humour. I think sometimes things just overwhelm him. So having somewhere to go like Daisy Chain means everything.”