Chairman Kevin Healey speech Queens Award 13th August 2012 Civic offices
Staffordshire Adults Autistic Society was formed in May 2005 just around a small table with a few people with Asperger syndrome and autism, trustees of the charity were doing volunteer work from home establishing the charity, taking phone calls from people wanting advice, information or just a listening ear, or finding more information of support services, diagnoses etc.
Today Staffordshire Adults Autistic Society a charity working at grass roots which has flourished in so many ways, securing funding from Robbie Williams give it sum fund, it took there next steps by setting up a charity base head quarters in newcastle under lyme in the ironmarket and most recently relocated to old stables court newcastle, the charity grew, recruiting volunteers and supporting people on the autistic spectrum, by providing a telephone helpline, autism conferences, awareness training, a resource library, signposting, information sharing, autism awareness days.
then the charity secured funding to provide trips and outings for its service users and members such as ice skating, skiing, ten pin bowling, paint balling, trips to the cinema and meals out, letting members mix with there peers who are on the spectrum, this enabled people on the spectrum to make friends and socially interact with others on the spectrum
Staffordshire Adults Autistic Society, is a unique charity all its service users who are the trustees of the charity are all on the autistic spectrum, they are andrew Robinson, James Meakin, Andrew Chandler, Jennie Murry, Mark Alexander, William Wong and myself, the charity works at grass roots with a membership of 200 people networking with other organisations across the county.
Our charity has done such allot of things, In just a short space of time, autism conferences, a autism documentary training people with autism in life skills, independent living skills, communication, various fundraising days from tombolas to a 12 hour sponsored radio show, making two charity songs which were put on cd to raise awareness, to helping people ordering a simple meal at a cafe, to taking members on day trip’s – outings too christmas partys, to charity fundraising balls
raising awareness of autism, just a few years ago we released over 300 balloons in newcastle town centre to mark world autism awareness day, to raise awareness on that day we even did an outside radio broadcast.
just over two years ago under the umbrella of staffordshire adults autistic society, we launched our very own radio station Autism Radio UK which is the first radio station in the UK for autism, within the first year we had a visit from central news, and BBC radio stoke, produced over 250 radio shows, from broadcasting to live outside broadcasting, interviewing the lord mayor of stoke on trent at the disability day at stoke on trent college, to interviewing local MPs like christian hunt about autism. to various community event across the borough, city and county, helping other local charity’s and community groups to have there own voice and to be heard, the charity received recognition by attending a conference in London excel to show other organisations what the radio station has achieved in a short space of time
SAAS have received various awards over the last 5 years the most recent award last year the charity won charity of the year,- sponsored by staffordshire police
I don’t know of or aware of any autism charity’s in the UK that has received the queens award, even organisations like the National Autistic Society which has over 18,000 members
Staffordshire Adults Autistic Society to receive the Queens award all at the charity are very humbled and pleased that staffordshire adults autistic society A charity which does so much with very little resources, having the pleasure of meeting her majesty with Julie Kearns, James, Meakin and Andrew Robinson, its something that we will always will cherish speaking too her majesty what the charity does and its work, her majesty was most impressed
volunteers I would like to take this opportunity to commend Julie kearns and Madleine hughes to there dedication and commitment you are assest’s to the charity and supporting us in so many ways giving there own time up,
our staff Tom Plimbley and Claire Philips who are dedicated to the cause of autism and there understanding and empathy to the condition
I would like to pay tribute and I would also like to take this opportunity in commending the late Susan Chandler for her upmost dedication, commitment, compassion to the charity, sue was a very dedicated and committed person always putting the charity first before anyone else spending days and evenings planning on what do do next for the charity weather it was designing a flyer before she went to bed or making arrangements with the next fundraising event, raising funds, with raffles to markets stalls in Newcastle town centre rounding people up with a megaphone, raising awareness, supporting parents, a dear friend and colleague too so many and So missed by many she will always will be remembered
I like to thank all the people who have been involved in the radio station, Martin Finn and Carly Ryan who are ambassadors for Autism radio UK, and to andrew robinson for editing all the radio shows, both mark alexander and Andrew Robinson are amazing Radio presenters.
Trustees I thank-you for been apart of such an amazing charity, and I also thank you for just been you, I would like to thank our supporters, donors, members, friends and family’s, funders and fundraisers, local media the sentinel and BBC Radio stoke also for supporting the charity in the last 5 years
I would like to thank cllr Simon Tagg for supporting the charity for many years, and cllr John Copper who supported the charity when he was the mayor of newcastle choosing our charity for the year in 2008 and raising over £6000 for us
I would also like to thank our patron pete conway the father of singer Robbie Williams who has supported the charity, and just a few years ago he was the compare for a big variety show at the victoria hall, and Robbie Williams for funding our charity.
like to thank our member’s of staff Tom liaising and arranging today’s event alongside our volunteers.
Also a special thankyou too all the dignitary guests who have attend today, I would like also to acknowledge and thank deputy lord ltt pippa G and lord ltt and his wife for joining us today the high sheriff of stafford, and the deputy mayor/ mayoress of newcastle under lyme.
And everyone who has made the effort to attend todays celebration for staffordshire adults autistic society.
Iam and I’m sure many others are proud to be involved with an amazing charity which has changed the lives of people on the spectrum, they have gained friendship, learnt new skills, enjoyed volunteering roles, have been involved in activities and outings, been apart of society, but most of all its had a huge impact on peoples lives with Autism a condition which is a hidden disability and can be hugely debilitating condition, a condition which is so misunderstood by so many, there is still so much that needs to be done to support people with autism and there family’s, and I hope that the charity continues its good work and goes from strength to strength, and iam really pleased that we have been awarded the queens award