Charity given £90k to continue front-line autism care

PUBLISHED: 17:00 05 August 2019

The Sycamore Trust's family services manager Debbie Gadbury and it's chief executive Chris Gillbanks. Picture: Sycamore Trust.

The Sycamore Trust's family services manager Debbie Gadbury and it's chief executive Chris Gillbanks. Picture: Sycamore Trust.

Sycamore Trust

A Dagenham autism charity has won £90,000 to continue a programme that’s often the first port of call for parents after their children are diagnosed with the condition.

The Sycamore Trust is getting the money over the next two years to employ a co-ordinator for its Family Services project and for other expenses.

The scheme offers assistance by giving advice to families, helping them access services and supports them with things like benefits and training.

The money has been awarded by the City Bridge Trust. The CBT is responsible for maintaining London's bridges, but regularly gives excess money to charity.

It gave £6.3million in this round of funding - its biggest ever.

Chris Gillbanks is chief executive of the Sycamore Trust.

She said she was delighted when she heard the news.

"Our family services offering is at the heart of everything we do at the Sycamore Trust.

"In many cases, our family support co-ordinator is the first person that parents and carers turn to after a diagnosis and we are so pleased that we can continue to offer this vital service."

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More than 600 families have been helped by the Family Services project in the past three years, according to the Sycamore Trust.

Around a fifth of those used more than one of the services the project offers.

Ms Gillbanks said the charity was grateful to the CBT for its continued support, adding: "Without their help, hundreds of families in east London would not be able to call on us to help guide them through what can be a stressful and overwhelming period."

Issues around school, puberty, emotions and housing are all covered by the scheme.

The Sycamore Trust helps families in Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge.

As well as the Family Services project, it hosts youth clubs for autistic youngsters and a speech and a communication programme for preschool children.

It's thought around 700,000 people are affected by autism in the UK.

The autism charity wasn't the only group in the borough to get funding from the CBT.

Every One Ever Day runs neighbourhood projects and won £450,000 for the next two years.

More information about the Sycamore Trust and its work can be found at

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