SIGNAL Family Support (Lewisham)

I think the NCS project is a great thing for young people and I'm very happy for SIGNAL to be involved.


What were the team volunteering details?

The team volunteered with Signal by hosting an outdoor picnic fun day, the day was for families and children that use SIGNAL’s services. The volunteering day was based at Hilly Fields children’s play park in Lewisham. The team planned outside activities, softball sports games and icebreakers to interact with SIGNAL’s families. This was a chance for families to enjoy their day and get bond with other families that have children with autism.

What did the team do?

The team were able to use skills in coordinating an event and planning sessions, to deliver to a group. The day boosted the NCS teams confidence and allowed them to social mix with a new group of people. Many young people had not interacted with young people on the autism spectrum, this experience allowed them to feel more confident around young people with additional needs.  We wanted to partner with Signal as there is a higher level of children with autism in the borough of Lewisham than other boroughs.

What was the outcome of the partnership?

Children and young people with an identified SEN who have been issued with an Education, Health and Care plan, or Statement of Special Educational Needs, currently account for 2.7% of the school-age population in Lewisham. This is comparable to Lewisham’s neighbours, and to London and England as a whole. Of these children, 75% are male and around 50% have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), which is significantly higher than the national average.

Of children with special education needs in Lewisham, 83% have their needs met within Local Authority maintained provision (39% Maintained Special school; 35% Maintained Mainstream school; 9% Maintained Resource Base/SEN unit.

“We’re a parent support group for autistic children and their families in the borough of Lewisham, South East London, UK. Established by parents, and run by parents for parents, we’ve been going since 1993. From the original 20 families we have swelled to over 200, and now also include some schools and professionals as members too.”


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