Dunbarton , Glasgow – The West of Scotland Autism and Asperger Centre was officially opened on Friday August 8 by Anna Kennedy OBE.
An article in the Clydebank Post told of how the support group, the Vale of Leven Autism and Aspergers Forum (VOLAAF), that is run by parents for parents of children with autism and Aspergers, were celebrating after securing new premises in the former Renton Nursery.
VOLAAF still operate a forum and support group online, but the new support centre has been rebranded as the West of Scotland Autism and Aspergers Centre and has recently successfully applied for charitable status.
There Mission is:
‘To provide information and support for parents and carers and anyone who is generally interested. Also to furnish a sensory room in our area to provide a safe place for the children to fulfill sensory needs.’
VOLAAF member Angela Davis told the Clydebank Post
“It’s great, it’s a real accomplishment for a group which started off so small to get recognition from the charity regulators. Now that we have our own premises it’s going to cost a lot of money for rates and so on.”
Anna Kennedy told Autism Daily Newscast:
“The West of Scotland Autism and Asperger Centre will be used to to hold support groups for parent carers of families affected by autism. The Centre will also facilitate weekly youth clubs and playschemes etc. It is the intention to use the premises to hold educational courses, seminars and assist local Educational and Health Boards within West of Scotland. There aim is to build ties with various departments within Local Governments and Health Partners and to all who require to use the centre’s sensory room and Conference Room.”
Anna further adds:
“The families fought hard to open this centre and have been given the first year as peppercorn rent, then with hopefully an option to buy. Talks are taking place with relevant parties involved.”
Also attending the event was, Tom Urie, who is an actor, musician and songwriter, best known for his role as Big Bob in the Scottish television series, River City. Anna told us that Tom has a close friends, whose son has autism.
A post about the event, on the VOLAAF Facebook page, read:
“It was really positive to see so many professionals take the time to come and see the space we have put blood, sweat, tears and so much more into in the past 6 weeks.”