DASH

Discovering Autistic Spectrum Happiness

 Reg charity no: 1116852

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DASH Social Groups:

Eligibility Rules for DASH Social Groups

Ground Rules for DASH Social Groups

Volunteering:

Services:

Activities: DASH Social Groups

For more information & access to all the social groups described below please email: contactdashswindon@gmail.com or telephone: 07554 665 715 or go to the resources & links page and download an enquiry form

The Young Adult (18 - 30) Social Group

The group meets on Monday evenings at the Oasis Leisure Centre between 6pm and 9pm. It is available for both young men and women. There are two groups - running from 6pm-8pm and 7pm-9pm. Badminton is played at 7pm for those who wish to play. As an alternative to badminton, some group members like to play board games, read books or generally socialize. During the summer months we like to run a bar-b-q afternoon or, if enough interest, an away-day at the coast.

Every December we have an end of year Christmas dinner on the last Monday before Christmas Day.

The group runs every Monday except Bank Holidays. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

The group helps members nurture self-confidence and develop social skills. We hope that forming friendships within the group will help people to plan and organise their own social events.

Members say:

The DASH group is full of fun and friendly people who all get on well and really enjoy themselves

It's helped me to feel more confident about meeting people

People understand me

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The Young Women's group

This is a group set up in response to a small number of young women who contacted DASH about the same time via the information and advice service to enquire about social opportunities - but without the confidence to immediately join the young adult social group.

It was decided that a group would help the young women with:

  • Understanding the adult world or life
  • Relationships
  • Behaviour
  • Friendships
  • Communications by:
  • Meeting new people
  • Learning new skills
  • Having discussion
  • Learning to co-operate
  • Having fun

Activities that might help include:

  • Art and crafts- card making, drawing pictures, painting etc
  • Sewing- making things beautiful things that I can use
  • Cookery- simple stuff
  • Jewellery making- all girls love jewels
  • Running a budget and life skills
  • Acting and writing a script

All of these things are intended to enable the women who attend to begin to relax in the company of others, and help them to prepare for employment, college or voluntary work.

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The Men's group

This is an established fortnightly daytime group for men of any age to meet up and engage in social and practical craft activities. It is a safe place for meeting others and helping reduce isolation whilst doing something useful. It is held every other Wednesday afternoon.

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Monthly social group

This group is available to adults who are ready to try different activities in 'external' venues. A 6 month 'What's On' programme is publicized in advance. Activities range from walks, the theatre, curry nights and pub quizzes. People can choose which activities to attend and are invited to help plan the subsequent programme. DASH facilitators help organize and attend the events. People are invited to meet up with a facilitator individually if they wish, before attending their first event, to gain the confidence to come along.

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The Allotment Group

This group meets every Wednesday throughout the year. The allotment offers a peaceful and practical environment for people who want to engage with the natural world and engage in purposeful activity. A range of tasks is available to suit different needs - indoors and outdoors - from digging and cutting back vegetation to grass cutting, planting and harvesting fruit and vegetables, flowers and their seeds, potting up and dead-heading. No horticultural experience is needed to join the group. 

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The Women's Project

A project for women with an autism diagnosis, who are 18 years and over. We have a wide age range , which works well, offering experiences that are new to some but often experienced by others. Members support each other in an environment that understands the pressures of coping with being on the spectrum. Finding common ground with others helps us to understand our own needs, which in turn  can boost  confidence ,and  life skills.

The group has now been running for a number of years and is based on a therapeutic model that includes, crafting, art, discussions, outings, sewing, knitting, chat and friendship. The group meets every Thursday.

Volunteering with DASH

How you can make a difference!

Volunteers can make a great contribution to DASH by:

  • directly helping adults with Aspergers to develop their self confidence, improve their work and social skills and enjoy social and occupational activities;

  • fund-raising

  • helping to manage DASH as an organization - to plan how to sustain and develop its services in meeting local needs.

In return Volunteers can expect to feel valued, develop their own skills, increase their knowledge and understanding, encourage communication between people, feel good about themselves and offer trust and satisfaction to others.

If you would like to become a volunteer with DASH you are welcome to try a 'taster' session or two before making a decision to offer a regular commitment. And in this way DASH can also make sure that we can support you appropriately as a volunteer.

Volunteers are welcome to help in:

  • any of our groups depending upon their interests;

  • DASH management group to help steer the work of DASH either as a time limited project or as a trustee serving at least 1 year on the committee with specific skills to offer.

For further information about all of these opportunities, including role/task descriptions please contact the DASH Manager at contactdashswindon@gmail.com, telephone 07554 665 715 or download a volunteer details form

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Services

The Swindon Autism Information & Advice Service - Autism Matters

The Swindon Autism Information & Advice Service opened its doors on May 20th 2013 for a 12 month pilot to gauge if there was a need and a demand for such a local service. Latest national statistics suggest that 1 in a 100 people will have an autistic spectrum condition which translates in Swindon to around 2,000 people.

The demand for this service has developed enormously since 2013 and we have recently received Big Lottery funding to widen the scope of information and provide more 1-2-1 time with people who need advice. The service is called Autism Matters and runs from Sanford House. More details can be found at Swindon Autism Information and Advice Service - Autism Matters

DASH is also able to monitor patterns of enquiries and we feed this information back to the Swindon Adult Autism Partnership Board to help improve access to services or address gaps in services.

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Interpersonal Skills

For people who receive a diagnosis of Aspergers when they are an adult, it may feel very confusing to be told that they have a lifelong condition that hasn't been recognized until then. On the other hand, learning about Aspergers might mean that their life experiences suddenly make sense. It may be that they have experienced specific difficulties for many years without understanding why. And they may feel that these difficulties have adversely impacted upon their personal and social life, their education and opportunities for work.

For this reason DASH offers opportunities to discuss with the information and advice service what it means to have Aspergers and how to build on individual strengths and talents to move forward.

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© DASH, Sanford House, Sanford Street, Swindon SN1 1HE