The Autism Trust will open the charity’s first retail, training and administrative facility in Sunninghill, Ascot early October.
Polly’s Place is a shop that has been developed as a social enterprise to help people with autism lead more fulfilling and rewarding lives. The retail training shop will provide customer-facing and administrative experiences while showcasing artistic talents of people with autism.
As many young adults with autism live at home, Polly’s Place will also promote home working and individual creativity as a recognisable and important contributor to local economies, encouraging high quality homemade/handmade products created through artisan skill to be celebrated.
Polly’s Place will be opened by Polly Tommey, who founded The Autism Trust in 2006. Tommey set up the charity to support the creation of a better future with real purpose for children everywhere with autism as her son, Billy, approached his teenage years with uncertain prospects for his own future.
A parallel programme, AH-HA (Autistic Helping Hands in Ascot), will also be started by The Autism Trust in October to provide services for the local community. Initial projects will include garden tidying and maintenance to local older people.
Across both programmes, young adults with autism will work in Polly’s Place and in the Helping Hands teams as employees undertaking a City and Guilds apprenticeship scheme and will be supported in their work by job coaches.