Tuesday, 5 March 2024
Tuesday, 5 March 2024

A Year in the Life of Talkback

Tony Flower writes

Developing ‘a world of possibilities’ for our members and giving them the tools to thrive, remains at the core of our Charity. Whilst continuing to deliver our Education and Life Skills Programme, Personal Development, Employability and Professional Services, we have worked harder than ever to raise awareness around autism and learning disability in the wider community.

As part of UK Charity Week, we celebrate just a few Talkback highlights from the past year:

December This time last year, Talkback hosted the inspirational Think Autism Conference in Milton Keynes. The floor belonged to our brave members, who spoke of their lived experiences and struggles, as autistic adults, to access appropriate mental health support. They tell us here how The Right Support can Change a Life. Through the conference and other initiatives, we reached over 150 NHS Health Professionals in the year.

January We celebrated our longstanding work experience partnership with the National Trust at Cliveden. Opportunities like this are invaluable to build our members’ confidence and work skills.

February You’ll have to get up at the quack of dawn to reserve a room in our brand new 4ft floating Duck House. Commissioned by Aylesbury Town Council and created by The Accessible Workshop, this sturdy structure isn’t held together with duck-tape. No, it’s built to withstand any foul weather and classy enough to house stars like Drake, Duck Norris, Chris Waddle, or even Gloria Eggstefan!

March Our Expressive Arts Group were proud to display their work at Bucks Museum for the I am a Hero art exhibition.

April – We launched the monthly Talkback Youth Club in Amersham. Where autistic people aged 16-24 can meet, chat and have fun. There are organised activities, such as sports, crafts, music and much more (including the table-tennis and football games traditional to any youth club).

May As part our Personal Development and Skills programme, learning about independent travel is important to our members. Rohan’s Journey is a great example of how Talkback’s travel training can open up a world of social, leisure and employment opportunities.

June Each year the Talkback Theatre Group produces a wonderful summer show. This year’s production was John Smith’s Adventures, written by our very own David Haylor. Always a fun event, it’s a chance for our members to showcase their talents to an appreciative audience.

July What an amazing day!! Everyone deserves a sporting chance, regardless of ability. An absolute abundance of sports opportunities were enjoyed by over 150 people across the community at Talkback’s Festival of Sport and Fun. It will go down in Talkback history as one of our most successful events.

August Talkback’s social enterprise, The Accessible Workshop, was commissioned to build two Little Libraries. Once finished, the members were proud to present them to the Mayor of Aylesbury. These excellent community resources are now in use at two locations in the town.

September We celebrated our successful training programme for Thames Valley Police. Over the past year our Autism Insights external training, run by Sue Pigott and Nicola Martin, has reached nearly 600 officers, ranging from PCSO to Sergeant. And there’s more to come!

October The Talkback Advice Bureau is now live online. It’s an Easy Read resource, with information on Transport, Support, Adult Learning, Employment, and much more…

November Talkback Tackles Employment – Julia’s New Job. The ultimate aim is for our members to become as independent as possible. Our Supported Employment programmes area major stepping stone to helping our members reach their full potential.

Here’s to the next year!! We would like to thank all our members, staff, trustees, volunteers and supporters. A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.

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