Showing posts from May, 2015

Autism Self Advocacy Groups launched in Cornwall

People with autism in Cornwall are being invited to join a dedicated self-advocacy group encouraging them to speak up for themselves and influence the way in which local services are run. Cornwall People First (CPF) is a user-led charity for adults with learning disabilities.  In April it set up its first Autism Self Advocacy Service for people who are on the autistic spectrum, or who have Aspergers, encouraging them to highlight what matters to them most, to influence the way local services are run, and improve things so that they can achieve the life they want. The groups are an extension of the CPF’s established forums throughout Cornwall, where people with learning disabilities meet to talk about services, transport, housing, relationships, social events and other things important to them. CPF also work with families and groups such as Cornwall’s Learning Disability Partnership Board and Autism Partnership Board, London People First and Valuing People.
There are currently two Autism…

Personal Blogs - Demystifying Autism?

Social media sites such as Facebook, Blogger and Instagram, have given people new opportunities to describe their real-life experiences as well as reaching out to potentially worldwide audiences. Many on the autistic spectrum, especially those who feel ostracised, are now using the internet to express themselves more freely while giving us a window into their unique experiences and how the world appears to them.   Hayley and Marcus during a visit to Green Light’s back office at Cardrew in Redruth.
Diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), Marcus Mitchell is a young teenager from Cornwall sharing his ups and downs through his blog  Marcus’s Way, Living With Autism and OCD.  It details his daily routine, going to college, his love of fashion and photography, as well as his commentary on autism and how people may view the condition. His latest post is a piece highlighting the views of the controversial media personality Katie Hopkins.
Blogs are becoming a …

Safety, Life, Growth at Chy Lowen the 'Happy House'

“I have been around animals all my life. If you’ve got patience horses can be so loving and are very intelligent,” Dan, describing his bond with the ponies at CHAT, a small non-profit project, during his fundraising trek along the country lanes of St Columb Major. CHAT is short for Chy Lowen Alpacas Tregaswith - Chy Lowen is Cornish for ‘happy house’  - which is run by Mary Harvey and Mike Ferkin, whose aim is to bring young people and animals together so that they can relax and hopefully overcome their anxieties and fears.
John Wood, Mary Harvey and Dan during the fundraising walk with Charlie a Falabella (miniature horse) and Billy (left). Mary, a former adolescent psychiatric consultant, specialising in emotional and behavioural difficulties in teenagers, and trained in AAI (animal assisted intervention), set up CHAT eight years ago: “We wanted to create an informal and non-judgemental environment where the students feel that they can talk about their problems. Therapy is not in the …

Autism: "There's No Quick Fix..."

As Green Light continues to grow, now running 13 family-sized homes across West Cornwall, I wanted to focus on September Lodge in Goonhavern, one of the first to be opened by Green Light in 2011. Congratulations to Keziah Exell, who recently passed the Care Quality Commission interview to become its registered manager. Home to three people with complex needs and a separate annex for a further individual, Keziah is keen to put her stamp on the home which is set in idyllic surroundings, near stunning beaches and the bustling city of Truro.
September Lodge deputy manager, Miriam Brenton, and its registered manager, Keziah Exell.
Keziah has experience of managing services for people with complex and enduring mental health needs in her home town, Newquay, having worked in social care since she was 17 and now has her Level 5 in Management and Leadership in Health & Social Care. Creating a suitable environment, that is able to meet the needs of very different individuals, is not without it…