“I’m Nicola and I want to tell you about something that’s really worked for us as a family thanks to your support for Barnardo’s.
My daughter Hannah has autism spectrum disorder, normally called autism, and the Atebion service based in Bridgend in Wales has been an absolute godsend. It’s there to develop the skills, confidence and resilience of every family member so we can all be there to support Hannah. And it’s done this for us in spades!
The support’s unique to every family which is what’s so wonderful about it – as everyone’s situation is totally different. The service works with children up until they’re 25, and their families too of course.
Hannah was diagnosed with autism when she was eight, but it wasn’t until she went to high school that she started to really show obvious signs. She found it extremely difficult to make and keep friends, she was struggling with work and she wasn’t asking for help. When Hannah started self harming, the school put us in touch with Barnardo’s Atebion service.
Barnardo’s Atebion service in Bridgend provides support
- in a group or one to one
- at home, school or college, in the community, or on video call
- by working on feelings, independence skills, friendships and sense of self
When the service contacted us, it finally felt like we had someone that understood. They arranged a Christmas get-together in 2019, which we didn’t think Hannah would want to go to. But she did, and she absolutely loved it. It’s also where she met our support worker, Kirsty, who’s been everything Hannah needed and more. Because of Kirsty, Hannah was finally able to go to a provisional school, which caters for children with anxiety.
Since then, Hannah’s anxiety and self harming has dramatically improved and she’s made a great friend, Hatti.
Without Kirsty, we wouldn’t have realised this provision was available. During the lockdowns, Atebion started doing stuff for the children virtually, like cooking sessions where they’d send the ingredients over first.
I think they found they were able to reach even more children, young people and families that way. Now they’re offering a mix of virtual and face-to-face support, which is just brilliant.
I can’t tell you how much Atebion means to us as a family. It’s had a huge impact not just on Hannah but on all of us. We don’t feel alone or ignored any more.”
Thanks to you, crisis funding last year meant we could create well-being packages for all our families and offer more crafts and resources for virtual groups, which both Hannah and Hatti accessed.
Find out how you can help
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For more stories like Supporting families – We believe in Hannah, see our Gifts in Wills hub.
This content is sponsored by Barnardo's
This content is sponsored byTags: Barnardo's Last modified: August 31, 2022