One of the regions longest established law firms, Jacksons, is delighted to announce its chosen charities of the year for 2017.

The staff and partners at the firm’s Teesside and Newcastle offices voted to support two charities in the North East; one in the South and one in the North. Stockton based charity Daisy Chain, which supports children with autism and their families, and Washington based charity, 4Louis, which helps bereaved parents cope with the pain of having a stillborn baby or early miscarriage and provides comfort following the loss of their child.

Daisy Chain was established as a charity in 2003 by its founder, Lesley Hanson, whose son was diagnosed with autism at an early age. Lesley became disgruntled by the lack of support for children with autism, and she set out to provide a haven for children and their families. Sadly, Lesley passed away in 2004, but her dream lives on thanks to extensive fundraising and support from the local community and businesses in the region. The charity opened its £1m day centre in 2010, the first comprehensive facility to provide holistic support to children with autism and their families in the UK. Its facilities include a farm, soft play area, sensory rooms, arts and crafts room, IT suite and meeting rooms.

Emma Hebb, Secretary at Jacksons, has a five-year-old son Jack, who was diagnosed with autism in January 2016. Emma from Middlesbrough said,

“When we were told Jack was autistic we didn’t know where to turn for advice and support. A friend mentioned Daisy Chain and we went along to an open day at the centre in June 2016 and have been attending regularly ever since. Jack thoroughly enjoys the sessions which makes spending time together as a family more enjoyable. As parents, we get the opportunity to speak to other families who are experiencing the same daily challenges we do”.

Holly Abbott, Corporate Partnership Manager at Daisy Chain said,

“We are absolutely thrilled to have Jacksons Law Firm on board this year. We rely very heavily on donations to enable us to continue to offer a high standard of support to the children and families and the day to day running of the centre. Living with autism can be very challenging for parents, carers and children with the condition, and our centre provides the haven Leslie set out to create. The parents and carers can take part in support groups, activities or just have a well-earned break while the children enjoy the facilities.”