Sun Protection for People with Albinism

We are working with Altruist SunScreen, Medical Assistance Sierra Leone and Sierra Leone Association of People With Albinism to provide essential sun protection for people with albinism. Altruist has gifted the Association 3 pallets of sunscreen but we need to collect it from the depot in Kent and ship to Sierra Leone!  The three pallets contain over 4,000 tubs of 200 ml sunscreen and are worth over £18,000. They will be given free of charge to people with albinism. We have launched an appeal on Black Friday to raise the £1400 required. Please consider supporting us.

https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/sunscreenappeal 

Showing of Award-Winning The Reason I Jump with Director’s Q & A

Stepping Forward held a charity showing of The award-winning The Reason I Jump on Sunday 10 October, with a Q&A featuring the Director Jerry Rothwell, Autistic Advisor to the film Emma Dalmayne and Roland Penn-Timity who features in the film with his family in Sierra Leone.  Funds raised on the night, including through a raffle, will support the work of the Sierra Leone Autistic Society who are featured in the film.  Stepping Forward have been working with the Society for over four years. We are grateful to our speakers and to the wonderful new venue The Reading Biscuit factory for their support and interest in this initiative.

Based on the bestselling book by Naoki Higashida, THE REASON I JUMP is an immersive cinematic exploration of neurodiversity through the experiences of nonspeaking autistic people from around the world. The film blends Higashida’s revelatory descriptions of his autism, written when he was just 13, with intimate portraits of five remarkable young people. It opens a window into an intense and overwhelming, but often joyful, sensory universe.

Acutely observed moments in the lives of each of the characters are connected by passages from Naoki’s writing, in which a young Japanese boy journey through an epic landscape, gradually discovering what his autism means to him, how his perception of the world differs, and why he acts in the way he does: the reason he jumps.

The film distils these elements into a sensually rich tapestry that leads us to Naoki’s core message: not being able to speak does not mean there is nothing to say.

The film can be seen at selected cinemas and is also now on DVD. A link to a trailer is below.

The Reason I Jump – Official U.S. Trailer – Bing video

 

 

 

Disability Advice & Support Service

Our Disability Advice and Support Service is busy supporting people to access DLA and PIP as well as support for specialist equipment, furniture or other items. Changed circumstances may mean that people may be entitled to new forms of support, eg Carer’s Allowance.

Contact us at info@stepping-forward.org.uk to make an appointment.

Sierra Leone Autistic Society Features in ‘The Reason I Jump’ film

The film ‘The Reason I Jump’, inspired by Naoki Higashida’s book of the same name, was released in the USA this weekend. Jes & her mother Mary Penn-Timity – co-Director and founder of the Sierra Leone Autistic Society (SLAS) feature. In response to offers of support as a result of publicity around the film, SLAS and the film’s Director Jerry Rothwell have asked us to set up this page to support the Society’s important work. Do support the Society if you can; all funds will be sent to SLAS to support their work in Sierra Leone. We have been supporting the work of SLAS for over three years, with play resources, technical assistance and capacity-building. 

Support Sierra Leone Autistic Society (virginmoneygiving.com)

 

Benefit Advice for Disabled People and Carers

The DLA/PIP service continues by phone for now. We know that lots of people are experiencing changed financial circumstances. If you are not sure if you may be entitled to support, eg for Carers Allowance or Universal Credit, contact us for a telephone appointment with our Benefits Adviser.

Email: info@stepping-forward.org.uk and we will get back to you ASAP.

 

Clarification on NHS Guidance Re Access to Treatment During COVID-19 Pandemic

The attached NHS letter clarifies treatment guidelines for people with learning disabilities, autism and other diagnoses. 

There was some initial misinformation about access to treatment, which have now been clarified by NHS. The attached doc should be shared with clinicians on admission so there is no confusion; health workers are under huge amounts of pressure and making difficult decisions within the current context, with rapidly changing guidelines.

This document can clarify immediately that a diagnosis does not exclude a person from access to best practice treatment.  

COVID-19 UPDATE

Following government advice this week, we are continuing to support clients but are now arranging to do this on the phone. If you have an appointment with us we will be in touch to confirm the new arrangements. We are part of community initiatives to support community members during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you or someone in your house has a disability and you need practical assistance, including specific items (or you are representing someone in this situation), please do not hesitate to reach out and we will do our very best to assist with our small team of volunteers.

 

Thank you for the Christmas donations!

Many of our wonderful supporters made a donation to Stepping Forward’s Disability Hub project over the Christmas period in lieu of buying a Christmas present. We are truly grateful for your support and commitment to this initiative. We are close to half way there and have until July 2020 to find the outstanding £70,000. If you have ways to lever support amongst your organisations and companies or want to do a challenge this year, we would love to hear from you. Email us at info@stepping-forward.org.uk

Winter Ball raises funds for local disability organisations

MORE than £11,000 was raised for disability charities in Reading at our Fifth Winter Ball  at The Hilton on Saturday 16 November  – bringing the total raised from this annual event to more than £60,000!

The fundraising and networking ball for organisations working on disability issues in Reading involved a total of seven local charities: Autism Berkshire, Reading Mencap, Parenting Special Children, Green Health Thames Valley, The Engine Shed and the Berkshire MS Therapy Centre, Berkshire Phab and Stepping Forward.

More information is in the Reading Chronicle. Contact us if you want to join in or sponsor us for next year 2020!!!

Image below shows Sam and Sanjay Seetanah enjoying a welcome glass of bubbly.

 

The Winter Ball is fast approaching!

Our Winter Ball 2019 is coming up fast and it is our 5th year of holding the event! Taking place on Saturday 16 November 2019, at The Hilton Reading, this unique fundraising and networking event for organisations working on disability issues in Reading involves Autism Berkshire, Parenting Special Children, Green Health Thames Valley, The Engine Shed and the Berkshire MS Therapy Centre – and us as the organisers Stepping Forward.

Guests can enjoy a welcome glass of bubbly, three course meal and entertainment provided by covers band Love2Groove.  An auction will take place on the night, alongside a raffle with £1,000 of John Lewis vouchers as the main prize.

Tickets are £45 from Stepping Forward, or from one of the other participating charities. Email info@stepping-forward.org.uk for payment details.

All funds that Stepping Forward raise this year will go towards the creation of a Disability Hub in Reading.

The Winter Ball event came about because individually most local disability charities do not have the capacity to put on a large scale event such as a Ball. By coming together, with the generous support this year of the companies and Foundations listed below, we are able to hold an enjoyable event that raises substantial funds for organisations that are experiencing a severe shortage of resources.