“Ash came home from the Club one day and said “Mum, it’s my happy place”, it just melted my heart”
Ash has been an Accuro member for 9 years, attending a variety of Clubs and activities most recently at Cool Connections in Harlow.
In this interview, Accuro Fundraising Manager Sue Fishpool asked Nickie, Ash’s Mum about what being a long-term member at Accuro has meant for Ash and the family.
Q. Can you tell me about your journey with Accuro?
A. Over the years Ash has been involved in lots of activities and clubs and has gradually dropped out of each one. Accuro has been the only place where Ash has consistently attended, he has always stayed with Accuro.
There have been several different schemes that Ash had attended at Accuro over the years as he has got older including the Holiday Scheme. At present he is attending Cool Connections in Harlow.
Q. How does Cool Connections meet Ash’s needs?
A. The staff and volunteers at Cool Connections are fantastic because they give him space. At the Club he is under no pressure and can be himself in his own way. He has the freedom to interact socially as much or as little as he feels he wants to.
He experienced a tough time at school so when he came home from Club one day and said “Mum, it’s my happy place”, it just melted my heart.
Q. How have you been staying connected with Accuro during lockdown?
A. Ash has not attended school since January so he is happy being at home. Accuro has been very important for his social communication, especially since he is no longer in school. The Staying Connected private facebook group set up by Accuro during lockdown has been valuable, and Ash knows he can join in when he wants to.
He prefers 1–2–1 communication, so the zoom club nights are not really for him but Accuro are aware and have accommodated this. Maria, the Club Coordinator at Cool Connections sends him offline activities which have been of great benefit. One of these activities was a quiz and the questions were very well pitched so he had to think about it and learn which is so important. It was amazing, we sat for an hour with him doing the quiz, something that doesn’t happen often and spent time together as a family. This contact with Accuro has made a real difference.
Q. Will Accuro play a part in how you move out of lockdown with Ash and as a family?
A. Yes, it will be a big thing for Ash to go back to Club after lockdown, he has had periods of anxiety about the virus and his own safety. I am confident that Clubs will not be back until it is the right time and see Accuro playing a big part in the adjustments Ash will need to take in preparation for him to go back into education.
Q. What would you do if Accuro was not there?
A. I don’t know, I really don’t know what we would do without Accuro. The whole process of reintegration to get Ash back into education and then transition to the adult world would take so much longer and it would be so much harder for him and for us if we didn’t have Accuro.
Q. In 3 words can you describe how you feel about Accuro?
A. Family, happy, cared for.
Where To Find Us
Accuro (Care Services)