Daisy Chain was established eighteen years ago as a result of founder, Lesley Hanson wanting to improve the lives of autistic people and their families, empowering them to reach their full potential. The charity currently supports over 4,500 families.
With the highly valued support of the players of People’s Postcode Lottery, Daisy Chain is well on its way to making Lesley's dream a reality.
To autistic people the world is a mass of people, places and events that they struggle to make sense of, and which can cause them considerable anxiety. Understanding and relating to other people, and taking part in everyday family and social life may be harder for them. Often these children do not need, nor want, a kiss and a cuddle from mum and dad.
There is no organisation in the UK providing the same holistic support to children with autism and their families. The charity is acutely aware that the parents, siblings and carers of autistic children all need support.
Daisy Chain provides a range of services from a parents support group, to placement services, a telephone support service and a wide range of organised activities, including residentials – crucial to children who need familiarity and routine. The charity has a Day Centre in Norton which houses several support services and provides conference facilities as well as a sensory garden, maze, playground, wildlife pond, wildlife walks and a pond for dozens of Koi carp.
When it comes to aiding the development of children who access Daisy Chain one of the most popular, and important, facilities is the petting barn, containing lambs, rabbits, guinea pigs, pygmy goats, chinchilla and a dwarf African hedgehog. All provide valuable non-verbal stimulus and interaction.