Date: Thursday 24 April 2014
A Hertfordshire charity that works with dozens of families affected by autism has received a cash boost from Taylor Wimpey.
Grace’s Space, based in Stevenage, was launched in 2009 and the charity runs sessions once a month for children and teenagers with autism and their parents and siblings.
The organisation has been awarded £500 after being voted the winner of our Community Chest initiative by Letchworth/Hitchin/Baldock Advertiser readers. The Community Chest scheme invited readers to nominate a worthwhile local charity to receive a cash grant from us.
Grace’s Space will use the £500 award to buy new toys and sports equipment for its sessions and to supplement the cost of its annual break for families.
Jessica Kuffour, founder and lead co-ordinator for Grace’s Space, says: “Both of my children were diagnosed with autism and I struggled to find something for us to do at weekends. Other parents agreed that there weren’t many places they could take their children where they would be accepted and they could be free to be themselves.
“I started Grace’s Space in 2009 and it was originally aimed at autistic children aged three to seven. Volunteers and people from the education sector would help me run sessions once a month where the children could enjoy music, dance and other activities, while parents could chat to others in the same situation as them.
“In 2013 we realised the demand was greater than we had originally thought, so we expanded to offer sessions for nine to 14-year-olds too. The children can do arts and crafts or spend time in the games room playing table tennis and pool, and it encourages them to interact with other youngsters.
“The vision is to provide a place where children on the autism spectrum and their families can be free to relax and be themselves, while helping them to develop their social skills. We currently work with 90 children and their families, and they are all delighted that we’ve won the Taylor Wimpey Community Chest.
“We are self-funded so we rely heavily on donations and this money will be very well spent on new toys and sports equipment and to pay for the coach for our annual holiday.”
Christine Scarborough, Regional Sales and Marketing Director for Taylor Wimpey North Thames, says: “We were delighted that readers of the Letchworth/Hitchin/Baldock Advertiser have voted Grace’s Space the winner of our Community Chest initiative, receiving a massive 43.5% of the vote.
“This fantastic charity does such wonderful work with autistic children and their loved ones and we are delighted to be able to offer our support to this worthy local cause.”
Further information about the charity is available by visiting www.gracesspace.org.