News Bags of support for North-east families We may still be unable to hold our groups and workshops in person but that hasn’t stopped our team being on hand to support families across the region. Not only have we launched a Virtual Autism Support Hub but thanks to funding we’ve also been able to create hundreds of emotional wellbeing and art / messy play bags. Delivered to homes on a ‘first-come-first-served’ basis, the packs are designed to help families missing out on vital groups and support services during increasing Covid restrictions. Part of the Family Development Team, Becca Welch said: It’s been really great to have received funding which has allowed us to provide activities and tools for families. We’re really aware that heightened restrictions mean families who can already feel socially isolated are now even more on their own. These bags may seem insignificant but every item in there has been chosen with our families in mind – whether that’s to help with wellbeing or just to provide an activity to do while the kids are isolating. Made possible via the National Lottery Community Fund and other funding made available through the Office for Civil Society (part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) our goal was to provide online support and to deliver activities specifically aimed at our community through the COVID-19 crisis. And now thanks to another batch of 175 bags being created we have succeeded. Having already gifted bags to families normally in attendance in our groups across the region, the latest two types of packs will soon be available to people from within our online Family Networking Facebook community. Emotional Wellbeing bags – aimed at age nine and above – comprise worry and affirmation cards, ‘emotional Jenga’ and other wellbeing tools including a colouring book and pens. The all-age art / messy play bags offer paints, bath jelly and arts and crafts materials. And both of these are available in addition to online weekly webinars, Q and As and top tips, telephone and online emotional and practical support, signposting to other services and daily activity videos. Email [email protected] for more information.