Daisy Chain 1

Navigating Challenges, Celebrating Strengths

Award-winning charity - Daisy Chain - has dedicated the past 20 years to supporting and empowering autistic and neurodivergent children, adults and their families across the North East of England and beyond.


18 September 2023

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Founded in 2003, the organisation is constantly evolving and responding to current and emerging need, helping people to navigate the challenges they face in life and celebrate strengths, with all aspects of service delivery aimed at increasing wellbeing, acceptance and social inclusion.

The impact the team has can be summed up by words from an autistic young person who accesses its services:

"For the first time in my life, I can be the real me. Daisy Chain has helped me accept that I'm autistic and that's OK."

Players of People's Postcode Lottery have enabled the Daisy Chain team to expand their services significantly, raising more than £3.6 Million for the charity to date.

Initially launched as a community initiative for autistic children and young people, Daisy Chain now provides support for adults and families too, including employment opportunities, social clubs, respite care, counselling and more.

Home is a 5.5-acre site in a peaceful, rural location offering state-of-the-art facilities and even a therapeutic farm and barn.

Johnathon Pickard, Head of Business Development and Economic Generation at Daisy Chain, said, "Neurodivergent people and families can struggle to find effective support with many of the challenges faced not being seen and understood by wider society. This can lead to extreme levels of vulnerability and social isolation.

"Our team works with children, adults and families, with or without diagnosis, to focus on the particular strengths of each person, supporting them to lead a life that is fulfilling to them.

"We believe autism is a difference, not a deficit, truly something to be valued.

"The funding raised by players of People's Postcode Lottery enables us to respond quickly to emerging needs in unique and innovative ways. This is a crucial element of our person-centred approach - it means our support can be as individual as the person we are helping."

It is estimated that 1 in 100 children, teenagers and adults in the UK are autistic, but the figure constantly changes as new research emerges. While autistic people share some similar characteristics, they are also all different from each other.

This is because autism is considered a spectrum. It is not linear from high to low but varies in every way that one person might vary from another. There is no 'typical' autistic person - each has their own strengths, differences and needs, their own life journey and their own unique story.

Every year Daisy Chain supports more than 5,000 individuals. This includes 772 weekly respite sessions for children and young people and 2,965 one-to-ones for parents or carers. In addition to this, the charity also supported 69 neurodivergent individuals through its employability programme.

Visit the Daisy Chain website (opens in a new tab) to find out more.