Daisy Chain staff celebrating receiving funding from BBC Children in NeedDaisy Chain has been awarded a grant by BBC Children in Need to provide additional holiday clubs and excursions to children and young people affected by autism.

The grant of over £93,500 will allow the charity to run one trip and one high needs social club each week of the school holidays for three years. Three residential trips each year will also be run to help service users to develop their independence and engagement skills in a social setting.

Excursions and activity clubs during school holidays are regarded as one of the most important support services ran by the charity. School holidays can be the biggest challenge of the year for families as it comes at a time when all other support is often reduced which, combined with the sudden change in routine can leave children, young people and their families in a challenging and isolating position.

The new group trips and activities provided by Daisy Chain as a result of the BBC Children in Need funding will allow children and young people to combat loneliness and isolation during school holidays, improve their independent life skills and engage with their peers by taking part in a variety of fund and age appropriate activities.

The trips and activities will be planned in consultation with the children and young people, and will take place in a variety of environments with support from highly experienced staff, providing valuable respite to parents and carers during the holidays.

The high needs support programme will be held at the charity’s day centre in Norton and developed by user-led activity and consultation with parents to ensure those with higher and more complex needs are supported and involved in the direction of their sessions.

Hayley Matthews, Head of Services, said, “We are absolutely delighted to have secured three years funding for such a valuable service and are so grateful to BBC Children in Need.

“This funding will allow us to provide much needed provision and support during the school holidays to children and young people affected by autism, as well as providing valuable respite to their families.

“The funding will have a huge impact on our service users and provide them with invaluable opportunities to experience new and exciting activities whilst developing their independence.”