Helping Support Our Charities
With Christmas and a new year just around the corner, we wanted to share an update on the fantastic work our partner charity Jigsaw has been carrying out this year for children and adults with autism. Please read on to find out how Jigsaw have continued to provide services throughout the pandemic, understand the impact the pandemic has had and how a donation can help support the work that Jigsaw carry out.
Jigsaw provides learning and development programmes to help children and adults with complex autism grow in independence and reach their potential. Autism is a developmental disorder that affects communication and the ability to form relationships. It is a spectrum disorder and Jigsaw’s beneficiaries, most of whom have high dependency needs, may also struggle with sensory processing disorders, challenging behaviour, and taking personal care of themselves. Jigsaw focusses on enabling individuals to learn life skills, improve communication abilities, and engage with the local community.
Georgia, a Jigsaw Parent, shares her family’s experience:
My son Michael is 19 and has been supported by Jigsaw for 10 years. Michael has autism and is non-verbal, and he has always needed 2:1 support at school. We’re in a great place now, but that wasn’t always the case.
When Michael was little his behaviour was extremely challenging. He would bang his head on hard surfaces and he would spit at people. It made life so difficult. At the time, Michael was at a special school but when he was 8 the school told me that they could no longer meet his needs or keep him safe. After that came the 6 hardest months of our lives. Michael was out of school for half a year, so I was at home with him with no other support. I’d been in contact with Jigsaw for over a year and eventually I found out that there was a place for Michael to go to Jigsaw School. I cried with relief that whole day. I just knew Jigsaw was the place for us.
It took Michael a little while to settle in because he was slow to trust new people but, as he built up a relationship with the teachers, things really started to improve. The patience of the staff at Jigsaw was amazing. The changes we’ve experienced since he started at Jigsaw have been incredible. Now, I hardly see any challenging behaviour with Michael.
The changes go even further than supporting Michael with his behaviour. Michael is non-verbal so communicating with him could be difficult, but ever since Jigsaw gave him an iPad and taught him to use an alternative communication app called Proloquo2go the rest is history!
A few years ago, I was already worrying about what was going to happen when Michael turned 19 and his support at Jigsaw School finished. When JigsawPlus opened I was so keen for him to go there because I knew it was the only place he was going to be happy and where he’d get the support he needs. The transition to JigsawPlus has gone brilliantly.
I’m finding it strange not to have to plan for things like half-term – Michael going to JigsawPlus is a big change for me as well. When he was younger it was much more difficult to go out but now we can go out together to restaurants, theme parks, or on walks and it’s so much easier. We can really enjoy our quality time together now. I’m so grateful for this and for everything Jigsaw has done for us.
This year has been difficult for us all, but the disruption caused by the pandemic has disproportionately impacted children and adults with autism and their families. It has been tough for
every parent to be able to provide support and education to their children whilst juggling work commitments and looking after a household. For parents of children and young adults with autism, these struggles are amplified as their children will often require full-time care and supervision.
In line with government guidance, Jigsaw has remained open throughout the year to provide stability and support for individuals with autism. During the first lockdown, staff worked closely with families to ensure that all children and young adults who were unable to attend in person received the best support possible during this difficult time through online learning. While remote programmes were greatly appreciated, it was impossible to replicate the same level of support offered through face-to-face interaction. Sadly, a number of pupils’ and adult learners’ personal development, confidence and mental health began to deteriorate.
The need to practice safe social distancing models by implementing bubble systems brought additional challenges to Jigsaw. The charity installed 4 new temporary buildings on-site in order to be able to safely provide services in person to everyone who needs them. This vital project came at a significant cost. Along with unplanned costs for cleaning, PPE and IT equipment, Jigsaw has had to take on over £100,000 of additional expenditure this year, meanwhile experiencing a -39% fall in fundraising income due to the cancellation and postponement of events.
Looking ahead, while life will always be full of uncertainties and disruptions, Jigsaw will keep doing everything to ensure the best possible outcomes for families like Michael and Georgia. They will continue enabling children and adults with autism to develop academic and vocational skills and improve communication abilities. On-site programmes, such as Gardening and Baking, will be further developed to replace activities that can’t currently be accessed in the community.
If you can, please consider supporting Jigsaw’s appeal to help ensure every individual can reach their potential and have the best possible future, no matter how challenging the circumstances.
Here’s how donations can help:
• £10 could buy equipment and ingredients for baking sessions.
• £50 can help provide sensory items and toys that increase relaxation and wellbeing.
• £125 could pay for assistive communication technology to help children like Michael express themselves.
You can make a real difference by making a donation. Thank you for your support.
Find out more about the work that Jigsaw carry out here.
Welcome to the Insurance Institute of Guildford’s charity page. Here you will find information about the charities we are supporting for 2020, the types of fundraising events we hold and how the money raised can help support the work these charities do.
As a local insurance institute, we run a number of events during the year where we raise funds for our Charity partners. These include the Annual Golf Day, the Annual Dinner and other smaller scale events such as quiz’s & race nights. Fundraising events can be found on our Forthcoming Events page. Check back regularly to see the details of current events as well as information about those being organised, for the future! If you feel there are events that you would like to see more of, or if you would like to get involved in helping our fundraising efforts please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you or your business would like to sponsor an event and/or support these worthwhile causes by offering raffle prizes, please get in touch with email@example.com.
The charities we are supporting are:
The Insurance Charities - Your Industry Charity
The Insurance Charities is the charity for the UK & Irish insurance industry, which has been providing support for current and former employees and their dependents since 1902.
Each year The Insurance Charities help hundreds of insurance employees and their families in times of need. They can help with one-off payments to finance essential items such as household repairs, washing machines and mobility aids. The charity also provides on-going financial help giving regular support where income is restricted or insufficient and give practical support to those with health, money and housing concerns. The charity awarded over £1.7 million in 2019 and from a Guildford Insurance Institute perspective, in 2018/2019 The Insurance Charities provided charitable payments & loans of £4,200 to people in need within your local area.
Watch this short video which gives an insight into what the Insurance Charities can do.
To get in contact with The Insurance Charities email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7606 3763 or you can contact them through their website www.theinsurancecharities.org.uk.
The Jigsaw Trust
Jigsaw Trust is a UK registered Surrey based charity committed to raising awareness of autism and to providing specialist services for children and adults with autism. Jigsaw supports people to learn key life skills, enhance their well-being, and build independence. You can find out more about the great work that Jigsaw do here.
As with the previous two past President’s, our current president has chosen to continue to support Jigsaw Trust for a third year. Mark outlined in his president message that “Having visited their base, at Dunsfold Aerodrome, and witnessed the amazing work they do for those with autism from the ages of 4 to 19 along with their families, our support is going to be needed even more in the year to come”.
Want to know more about Autism? Visit the page below:
Any donations made can help:
Pay for a gardening session for a group of children or adults living with autism
Pay for electronic communication equipment that can enable non-verbal or non-vocal individual to interact with people around them
Maintain the running of Jigsaw’s life skills centre; providing individuals with autism a safe environment to enhance their independence.