Team Autism have  been running pilot Lunch clubs in North and West Cumbria and the funding to offer free places for these has been extended for another year.

The Feedback has exceeded our initial expectations and it is so humbling to know that this simple idea is having such a positive effect on peoples’ lives.

The lunch clubs run from 11am – 1pm in groups of 10 or less aimed at Autistic Adults who can attend independently. There are opportunities to talk and share experiences, access help and support, be signposted to other services, meet new friends and be part of a Team to attend social events and trips away. The current age range is 18 – 60 but there is no upper age limit!

We have been Hollywood bowling, Maryport Aquarium, Rifle Shooting, Fishing, Cinema and Pub Lunching! More trips are planned to museums, zoos and theme parks.

Most of the Members were really anxious and nervous attending for the first time. For a few people, it was the first time they had socialised with anyone outside their family circle. We always have a few of the Team Autism Autistic volunteers at each Lunch Club who understand how hard it can be to socialise. Team Autism offer a safe place to meet with others who will understand, a place where you can be yourself without being judged or criticised and where you do not have to mask. There is no pressure to join in a conversation, we are happy for people to just turn up and eat with us.

We may be able to offer a pre Lunch meet up with one or two Team members for those who are nervous about attending a group for the first time.

Members’ interests are varied – Gaming, Historical Re-enactment, Anime, Manga, Cars, Trucks, Motorbikes, Swimming, Make up, Fishing, Painting and sculpture, Movies, CrossStitch, Tree planting, Drawing, Football etc etc.

Some comments from participants;

“I found the Lunch Club invaluable. It gave me the opportunity to meet with other people in a friendly, relaxed and non-judgemental way. It is a safe space which is welcoming and inclusive”

“It was a quiet introduction and nice to meet other members”

“It got me out of bed, I got to meet new people plus good food”

“I have learned things about autism and made friends”

“I found it very informative and interesting”

For more information, to book on one of the Courses, or to book on a Lunch Club, contact Susan via email  or phone/text Susan  07748350587. If you don’t know what to say, text “ contact me” and Susan will text you back to arrange a phone call to you.