Huge Lottery Windfall for Cheshire Autism Charity

Wednesday, 1 Feb 2017

the chaps team Cheshire Practical Autism Support (ChAPS) is celebrating having just been awarded two major lottery grants. The Big Lottery Fund granted £375,000 and the People’s Health Trust presented £35,000. 

The charity provides support for families in Cheshire who have a dependent on the autism spectrum. A large number of regular activities are held for children, young people, adults and their parents. This support and advice and has become a vital lifeline for many such families. Children who may be unable to attend mainstream activities are able to enjoy a range of experiences tailored to their needs.

The Big Lottery Fund cash will pay for:  Intensive social skills classes for children; specialised socialisation group for children in Northwich; independence and living skills for adults on the spectrum as well as two Chartered Institute of Environmental Health qualifications Health & Safety and Food Safety; Continuation of  free Autism Awareness Assemblies in schools across Cheshire; Primary Mindfulness, aimed at giving children coping skills; Counselling for parents and adults on the spectrum, plus additional staff and running costs.  The People’s Trust fund will pay for children’s activities in Winsford and Blacon and provide parental support meetings.

Jo Garner set up ChAPS six years ago and now has 15 staff and 25 volunteers. She said: “We are so thrilled that we have been successful with these rigorous applications and to receive this funding. It proves that we are a robust and proficient organisation. More and more families are reaching out to us for support and this gives us a huge boost, enabling us to increase and improve our service provision for families in this area. We’ve moved into new offices in Runcorn, where we can offer more training and take on more staff”. 

Currently, the charity runs almost 80 activities each month for children, young people, parents and adults on the spectrum in and around Cheshire.  Activities include weekly youth clubs, meet ups for adults on the spectrum; yoga sessions for parents;  trampolining, pony riding, animal interaction therapy sessions, family fun swimming session, ice skating, roller skating, anti gravity yoga, walks and arts and crafts. 

Additionally, in celebration of World Autism Day, ChAPS will be hosting an Art Exhibition called ‘Awakenings’, displaying different styles of art in the form of paintings, drawings, sculpture and models and showcasing the extraordinary talent that our incredible children, young people and adults on the spectrum have to offer. 

This will be held on Thursday 30 March, 4-7pm, Friday 31 March 1-6pm and Saturday 1 April, 10.30-2pm at Northwich Business Centre, Meadow Street, Northwich, CW9 5BF. More information about the charity, the support and activities offered for children, young people and adults can found at



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