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LCT secure funding from Wigan Council The Deal’s Community Investment Fund.

Leigh Community Trust are delighted to confirm that over the lockdown period we have been successful in securing funding for a two-year project to provide the pre-school Autism pathway programme.

The programme will cover the whole Borough and work alongside the Council’s already established Autism Pathway, providing bespoke sessions for both children living with Autism, parents and their siblings. As part of the programme the Trust will also undertake training from the National Autism Society in order deliver parent Early Bird training on a more regular basis so no parent need to wait longer than 6-8 weeks to attend a course.

We will provide a new opportunity for both children and parents to have the best start in life possible, through provision of a holistic preschool service for children aged 2-5 years old diagnosed with or awaiting diagnosis of Autism and their families. The preschool programme will include timetabled activities including free-play, parent and child movement and dance, Autism Jujitsu, whole family active sensory play, massage story time, sensory movement, sensory tumble tots, sensory yoga, family sensory and sensory chill sessions and much more.

Leigh Community Trust Programmes Director commented “We have been working towards this provision for over 12 months now, having delivered our Ateam sessions over the last two years with such success and seen the numbers of children being diagnosed increasing and the ages of diagnosis getting younger and younger, we felt we could expand our delivery and provide much needed support for both the families and the Council’s existing Autism Pathway. We are so excited to get this up and running and this we hope is only the beginning of our work with families living with Autism in the Borough”.

A-team parent Lauren Cooley also commented on the successful funding “My son Leilan is 3 years old and has been diagnosed with Autism. As a family we find it so hard to find activities and/or sessions for him to attend, that are designed specifically for children with autism and his needs. It is so important for us and the other families in the Borough that we can access a programme like this and the fact that we will be able to access training as parents is essential as it will help us to understand their needs and how to deal with situations that arise now and in the future”.

The Deal for Communities Investment Fund (DFCIF) is an exciting opportunity for people to make a real difference and solve some of Wigan borough’s biggest social problems. The funding forms part of The Deal which enables residents to get involved in their community.

Since its launch in 2013, it has supported community groups and projects working towards improving outcomes for local residents with £10m invested to date including the Trust’s previous bid of Different Routes, working with males with long term illness.

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