Meeting 19th May


We welcomed Melanie Howard from NORASCA, which is an Autism Charity serving both Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

The group was set up in 1968 by parents and in 1970 they opened at the Sutherland House School in Nottingham and have been serving local autism people now for 45 years.

Autism is a life long condition and effects 1% of the population and with 4 times as many men. It affects social communication, integration and imagination with around 50% having learning difficulties.

There are 22 sites in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire and they employ 450 . The sites in Derbyshire include an adult centre at Heanor and also a residential one along with 3 supportive living centres

The members heard first hand the stories of two people who attend 5 days a week at the Heanor centre which gives their parents much needed rest bite. At this centre they are currently working on the development of a sensory garden which again will help the many needs of the people.

The Group helps families by reducing strain, give advice and also held training workshops last year for 220 parents and carers. They produced a training programme last year which was given to 1,700 professions.

There will be a 2 week summer play scheme which last year attracted 56 people and they also have regular play and leisure activities on a weekly basis. They are looking to develop a Sports Club.

Melanie in summing up said the aim of NORASCA is to bring "Quality of life for people with Autism"

Vote of Thanks: Our club's vote of thanks was given by Rotarian Revd Gary Dundas who thanked Melanie for reminding our members of this condition and the impact it has on their families and friends.

7th April 2014


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