This autumn Mustard Seed celebrates it's 10th anniversary and we have been delighted to return to so many face-to-face services and welcome some new members to the team.
We've welcomed 3 new trustees and 6 new volunteers to the Mustard Seed team this term and look forward
to introducing them to you at events and activities in the coming months.
Our sibling support groups have returned to face to face monthly sessions. The children have been so
excited to be back and enjoying cooking, craft, games and outdoor play at Frimhurst. After his first session, one of the new siblings told us it had been "the best day ever"!
In September we delivered our 5 week Empowering Parents Course via Zoom for 6 families, focusing on understanding autism and looking at practical strategies to support children.
Over the past year we had to pause some of our communication work due to Covid19 but have been really pleased to be able to run our Motivate to Communicate workshops and Ready Steady Go group again this term.
We have worked with 26 families since September through face to face therapy, training and 1-1 and group work and 25 parents have received support via our Advice Line. More important than the numbers is the difference our work makes to families....
"The support we have received for our child from the team at Mustard Seed has been invaluable. It can be so hard to open up to others for fear of judgement on your child, however from the initial meeting I was put at ease and felt listened to. The sessions have been great for our child, they built such an amazing bond with Stacy and I will be forever grateful for her in raising their self-esteem and giving them tools to make better choices and understand themselves a little better. She, unlike so many others believed in them, saw them as an individual, a child struggling and not just a problem. The OT sessions with George were so insightful, her knowledge has been so helpful and the way she delivered the session was brilliant and our child was really engaged. The social workshops have also been great for their personal growth. We have noticed changes already and they will sometimes quote what they learnt from their time. Thank you so much for the support you have given our family. We wish there was help out there for everyone and feel extremely luck to have been able to be part of Mustard Seed."
Huge increase in demand for service
At the beginning of September we also opened our waiting list to new referrals. Previously we have filled the 50 spaces in 2 weeks, but we were shocked and unprepared for the response this time. Within 2 hours of opening we had received over 60 requests for support. We had to make the difficult decision to close the waiting list before lunchtime in order to keep it manageable. We don't want families to have to wait over 6 months to access our support and limiting the number of people on the waiting list is the only way to do this. We plan to take on new referrals again in the Spring, so please keep an eye on our social media for the announcement.
Even with 2 full-time staff, one part-time family support worker, a couple of contracted therapists and a great team of volunteers, we are struggling to meet the demand in our local community. We are working really hard to secure more grant funding and provide more training and OT to schools to increase our income.
Please consider if there are any ways you could support us to grow this small but vital charity:
Could you commit to a small monthly donation?
Do you work for a business that could support us?
Are you part of a local group or church that we could come and give a talk to
Could we be your Charity of the Year?
Could you organise a fundraising event in aid of Mustard Seed?
Please do get in touch if you'd like to discuss any of these ideas further. Every donation really helps, thank you.