Sycamore Trust UK
The Sycamore Trust UK is a charity that serves the three London boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge.
We began as a support group in the mid 1990’s for parents (Parents of Autistic Children Together). After a merger with Mencap, we re-branded as the Sycamore Trust in 2014. We have a very small staff, many of whom have a relationship with Autism. The charity
provides a range of services designed to support families and individuals on the autistic spectrum. There are 700,000 individuals in the UK affected by autism and as it is a hidden disability, it can go unnoticed.
Autism is a lifelong condition that affects how a person understands, connects and communicates with the world. Autistic children by nature lack social skills, suffer from low self-esteem, experience sensory difficulties and struggle with basic communication
and life skills. Autism is a spectrum disorder which means that no two people are the same. It is a lifelong condition and cannot be cured. Autism is generally diagnosed in children but there are cases of adults being diagnosed
in their forties and fifties.
Among the programmes and services we provide are:
Speak With A Picture
A communication programme for nonverbal preschool children aged 2-4 years old. Some autistic children are unable to speak so we teach them and their parents to communicate using symbols.
Young women’s group
Girls and young women are often underrepresented in autistic provision. This group encourages friendship and activities for girls over 18. They do a great deal of arts & crafts and have produced some excellent clothes and accessories.
The Autism Hub in the Liberty Shopping Centre in Romford is a drop-in service providing help and advice for parents and carers. We can also assist with accessing local services, and provide support with completing forms such as PIP and DLA, although these must be arranged in advance. There is also includes a sensory room at the hub for anyone on the spectrum who needs a quiet space.
Alpha & Bravo groups
Funded by the Mayor of London Young Londoners Fund, a group that teaches essential life skills, such as travel training, safe relationships and personal hygiene.
A respite service for parents & carers, one of our support workers will take a young person out for the day and give the parents a break
Young adults with learning difficulties who become parents and lack parenting skills can learn how to look after their children, thanks to our Parenting Pathways programme
Parent Support Groups
Every month in Romford and Dagenham we have a coffee morning for parents and carers. It’s simply a place to chat, get support, find out about local services and share stories and information. Parents can often feel isolated when their children are diagnosed but as we constantly remind them, you’re not alone!
Dare to be Different
This is our new project for World Autism Awareness Week (w/c 30 March 2020). We’re trying to raise awareness of not only what we do, but also Autism in general and hopefully, a little money as well. As it is a hidden disability, there’s still a great deal of mystery surrounding Autism, so our Dare to be Different campaign is our way of highlighting it in the local area. We’re also hoping that it will be fun, and several local schools have already signed up.