Autism charity lands £600k boost from Big Lottery Fund

A CHARITY providing life-changing support to children with autism have been awarded £605,903 by the Big Lottery Fund.

The Tailor Ed Foundation, who were set up five years ago, have become a? lifeline to 150 autistic kids and their families in Edinburgh.

The charity provide an innovative service where volunteers go into homes to work with children on everyday skills like dressing and going to the toilet.

Tailor Ed founder Ruth Philip, 30, is delighted with the lottery grant as she is being inundated with referrals from across the capital.

The Edinburgh University graduate, who grew up in Udny, Aberdeenshire, said: “One of the issues children with autism and their families face is that the children don’t learn in a typical way.

“In Scotland, huge resources are put into the school and educational? environment so autistic children can learn – however parents, families and the home environment are mostly? overlooked which means that children can struggle to develop skills that let them take part in the everyday elements of daily life such as dressing, mealtimes and going to the toilet.

“Tailor Ed help parents learn?techniques which help them provide better support to their child and which gives them more confidence to deal?with practical problems. Many of?the children have no speech, so?communication is a real problem. By teaching them a few simple signs, their life can be made so much easier.”

Ruth came up with the idea for the charity while doing her Phd. She said: “My thesis was on the science of autism because, while doing my first degree, I had a part-time job helping a little boy with autism and was interested in?learning more about the condition.

“I quickly realised although there is no cure for autism, practical help can make a big difference.

“I set up a board of directors and secured enough funding to get the?charity up and running. It has been?going from strength to strength.”

Tailor Ed receive referrals from health, social work and education departments and families can also self-refer.

Ruth said: “Families often feel there are many agencies involved but no one is able to solve a specific problem or?have a direct impact on family life.

“The lottery funding is invaluable – there is such a huge demand for our services. My dream would be to expand the charity across Scotland.”