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Our Children’s Future …

Polly Tommey
Founder, The Autism Trust
Agenda
• Who am I?
• Why I am doing this …?
• The Need
• Our Vision
• The Autism Trust …
A Worldwide Network
• How far have we got?
• Summary
Polly Tommey
• Mother of a 13 year old
son with autism
Polly Tommey
• Mother of a 13 year old
son with autism
• Editor-in-Chief
The Autism File
Polly Tommey
• Mother of a 13 year old
son with autism
• Editor-in-Chief
The Autism File
• Founder
The Autism Trust
Polly Tommey
• Mother of a 13 year old
son with autism
• Editor-in-Chief
The Autism File
• Founder
The Autism Trust
And now …
• A committed campaigner
for basic rights for
people with autism
Why am I doing this …?
• Billy’s Head Teacher’s comments
• Preliminary research
• Frightening responses
“I can’t even think about my child’s future …
If I go there, I will lose total control”
“I cry myself to sleep at night, petrified about
what will happen when I’m not around”

“If there is no future for my child –


I will take him with me when I go …”
Why am I doing this …?
• Billy’s Head Teacher’s comments
• Preliminary research
• Frightening responses
“Many people also have concerns for what
happens to their child when the parents
pass away …

For me I am hoping that destiny sends us


something that wipes us out at the same time.”
Autism has become
a taboo subject in the UK.
It affects over half a million people and
yet our government and political
leaders appear to disregard the often
overwhelming stress and demands
faced by families of those with autism.
Before Our Campaign
We contacted:
• Former Prime Minister – Tony Blair
• The Department of Health
• The Department of Education
• The Downing Street Press Office
• The Opposition Leader

… all without an adequate response


Our Campaign

Our Prime Minister: Mr Gordon Brown


What is the problem?
• Many parents are at breaking point

• The impact on family and siblings is critical


• They are unable to go out as a typical family
• The extra financial strain is crippling
• Adequate medical support is unavailable

And most importantly:


• The basic human rights of their child are
being ignored
Our Campaign
The Political Issue

Unless the problems of autism are


understood; unless services become
more available; and unless support is
more widespread, we will see an
underclass of disaffected and
desperate autism households emerge.
A Personal Response …
Mr Brown’s Key Message
“Billy has a bleak future today in our
blinkered world.

He is the inspiration to all of us in our


family and everyone who meets him.

His potential must not be dismissed.”


So what is the solution
for Billy …

… and so many others


like him?
Building Sustainable Futures
for Today’s Children with Autism
… Worldwide

A Safe Haven for People with Autism


Our Charity’s Objective

Our objective is simple: to create a future


with purpose for children everywhere
with autism. We aim to do this by
developing a nationwide network of
innovative, high-quality environments:

Centres of Excellence in Autism


A Centre of Excellence?
We will:
• Work with existing like-minded and
supportive autism organisations
• Bring the best from across the world to
our centres
• Provide an Autism Trust ‘safe haven’ to
all who need support
Billy Tommey
Facilities at each Trust
• A Wellness Centre
• A Training & Conference Centre
• A Business Centre
• Personal Development Opportunities
• Vocational Programmes
• Residential Accommodation
• Retail Shops with Local Products
• A Café …
Local Partners
• We want to work with the best …
• We will be collaborating with others
already meeting local community needs
• This includes other leading autism
organisations who believe in our vision too
• Each Autism Trust needs to become
synonymous with high quality care, best
practice treatment and world class support
Land Acquisition Options
• Buying the land outright
• Renting the land
• Targeting gifting of the land from a donor
• Partnering with a Housing Association
• Partnering with a private developer to
obtain land through an offset agreement
• Targeting publicly owned land through
partnering with local authorities
Capital Funding
Indicative Capital Expenditure Elements
Gross Contruction Total
Sq m per sq m UK £

Training & Conference Centre (Phase 1) 1,000 1,250 1,250,000

Business Centre 1,000 1,250 1,250,000

Wellness Centre 500 2,000 1,000,000

Café & Shop 200 750 150,000

Residential Accommodation 2,500 1,000 2,500,000

Administration & Office Accommodation 650 1,250 812,500

External Infrastructure (Provisional) N/K 2,000,000

Contingency 1,000,000

9,962,500
Programme
Current Programme for Development of The Autism Trust's First Community

4Q06 1Q07 2Q07 3Q07 4Q07 1Q08 2Q08 3Q08 4Q08 1Q09 2Q09 3Q09 4Q09 1Q10 2Q10 3Q10 4Q10 1Q11 2Q11 3Q11 4Q11 1Q12 2Q12 3Q12 4Q12

Charity Formation

Trustee Appointments

Business Planning

Fund Raising

Outline Scheme Design

Location & Land Options

Site(s) Identification

Detailed Masterplanning

Detailed Design

Planning Applications

Construction

Operational Plans

Management & Staff Recruitment

Selection of Initial Residents

Open & Go Live


Some challenges so far …
• Is The Autism Trust an ‘institution’?
• Are we isolating people from the
community?
• Are we forcing people to work who can’t?
• Is this a commercial venture?
• Do we know all the answers?
• Who is this really for …?
The Worldwide Network

UK

USA
Dubai
The impact on the lives and relationships
of relatives and the wellbeing of
the individual sufferer is huge today.

The impact on society


if we fail to address
this will be even greater tomorrow.
Help us to build a future
for our children …
www.theautismtrust.org.uk
UK Charity Nr 1117657
US 501(c)3 Corporation (DC)

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