Thurrock Coalition – Empowering Equipment Event – February 2017

In partnership with the Thurrock Autism Action Group, Thurrock Coalition ran a launch event of our new Assistive Equipment Hire Service, that showcased accessible technology for people on the Autistic Spectrum in Thurrock.

Summary & Background
In late 2014 the government announced the Autism Innovation (Capital) Funding scheme. This provided £18,500 for local authorities across the country. All local authorities were able to apply for funding to make community areas more autism-friendly. The £18,500 grant could be used to buy electronic equipment such as iPads to improve services for people with autism, or used to refurbish quiet rooms. Local authorities had to set out their plans on how to spend the funds.

Objectives
The Thurrock Autism Action Group (Partnership Board) decided to carry out a survey to determine what types of equipment people would like to have available locally, and then to set up and run an equipment loan service in 2 areas of the borough (Beacon Hill and Thurrock Centre for Independent Living [TCIL]), providing the equipment on loan. A range of equipment has been identified and purchased, with premises and storage agreed at Thurrock Centre for Independent Living.

Where we are now
•    We have established an Autism Action Group (AAG) (Partnership Board)
•    We have a Thurrock Autism Strategy, last consulted upon in 2014
•    Having consulted on and considered how best to utilise the Autism Innovation (Capital) Funding we are establishing an Equipment Hire Service for People with ASD and sought input and feedback on Next Steps at the event.
•    We allocated £5,000 for the refurbishment of community space for use as music activity studio for people with ASD.

Where we want to be
It is envisaged that the as a result of the event, the Equipment Hire Service will benefit from:
•    Wider input and feedback from individuals, family members and carers as to the desired scope and breadth of available equipment for adults with ASD in Thurrock.
•    Individuals will have a wider understanding and awareness of local groups, support organisations and initiatives in Thurrock.
•    Increased membership (and therefore influence) of the AAG.

Event Audience
The event audience included individuals on the Autistic Spectrum, parents, carers and family members as well as organisational representatives who support, provide advice or information to carers, disabled people or vulnerable adults in Thurrock.

The Event Report is available here

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