Community Director Karen Rooney recently completed a day’s Community Payback in the Wirral in order to raise awareness about autism raising more than £900 in the process.
The fundraising event was in aid of the National Autistic Society and was part of World Autism Week. Autism is a lifelong developmental condition that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others. Autistic people can have difficulties with everyday social communication, social interaction, repetitive behaviours and sensory issues.
Karen’s son has the condition and she was joined by Community Payback project by colleagues on the unpaid work initiative for Autism Together – a provider of services and support to people with autism, and their families – and involves volunteers cutting down re-growth on Mersey View.
Karen said: “My thanks to all who gave up their time to come and support us in fundraising today. It was hard work, but highly rewarding, and a genuine privilege to work alongside remarkable volunteers who have ASD, and to see staff in Wirral Autism Together provide an invaluable service.
“Their passion and empathy is inspirational. Thank you to everyone who has donated, and thank you to our wonderful CP staff. We all come into contact with individuals on the autistic spectrum – many may be undiagnosed. We know that autistic individuals are more likely to be victims and witnesses of crime than actually offend, but those who do offend may do so for a number of reasons.”
These include social naivete; difficulty with unexpected events (as an example, anxiety and distress can manifest in aggression); misunderstanding of social cues; rigid adherence to rules; and not understanding the implications of certain behaviours.
Karen urged colleagues to learn more about the condition by visiting the Prison Reform Trust’s Mental Health, Autism & Learning Disabilities in the Criminal Courts: www.mhldcc.org.uk