The Scottish Football Partnership Trust has made an award to the Lothian Autistic Society to assist with the development and expansion of their fantastic ‘Football Club Initiative’. Lothian Autistic Society is a young and vibrant charity dedicated to providing services, information and practical support to individuals living with autism, their families and carers. Staff, volunteers and session workers have the skills, knowledge and passion to make a real difference to around 800 families living with autism throughout the Lothian’s. In order to give children and young people with autism the opportunity to take part in activities that they may otherwise be excluded from, the Society run a range of recreational activities clubs, including a football club. This football club provides a safe and supportive environment in which these young people can develop a mutual interest with their peers, make friends and improve their social skills. One parent commented “My son absolutely loved his first session. It has really boosted his confidence and having recently decided that he cannot handle playing in his school team any longer, it’s exactly what is needed to encourage his participation in team sports.”
Ann Brown, Chief Executive Officer, Lothian Autistic Society said, “We are delighted to receive an award of £4,000 from the Scottish Football Partnership Trust. Thanks to this funding, we are now in a position to continue a highly successful and outcome-focussed Football Club for children and young people aged 7 to 17 with autism based in the Lothian’s. Running from early 2015 onwards, this club will help young people with autism to improve their social and communication skills, whilst enhancing their self-image, self-esteem, and confidence in a fun and supportive environment”.