Centre 404 is a prominent and successful charity that offers friendly, reliable and person-centred support to people with learning disabilities, autism and their families. It was founded in 1951 by carers of children with learning disabilities and continues to work towards building a society where people with learning disabilities are valued and involved. Over the years, Centre 404 has built vital services that have enabled children and adults with a learning disability and their families to have a voice and access to activities and support.
Centre 404 provides planned short breaks to young people who have been diagnosed with Autism and/or learning disability ages 5-17 years. We provide overnight stay during weekends and school holidays for children and young people who live in Tower Hamlets. Children and young people are offered a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities such as arts and crafts, educational activities, cooking sessions, drama and music sessions, trips, Lego therapy etc. to help develop life-skills. Children and Young people that use the service have access to Travel Buddy scheme where they can take part in bespoke travel training sessions to further increase their independence.
During term-time we deliver 3 afterschool clubs with the following aims:
Ages: 6-10 y/o
Aims/outcomes: activities that help build social relationships/skills/friendships; confidence/resilience/independence, including healthy eating and fun activities.
Ages: 13-18 y/o
Aims/outcomes: preventing social isolation; improving travel skills; employment readiness; cultivating resilience and personal safety awareness; developing capacity to live independently; improving health/wellbeing.
Ages: 10-13 y/o
Aims/outcomes: enhancing life skills; skills/knowledge around mental and physical safety; reducing barriers to positive wellbeing.
Centre 404’s Supporting Families team facilitates a parent support group.
The group is an opportunity for parents to receive practical advice/information about day-to-day situations/disability benefits/social care/education/signposting. It is a vital service with relaxed and inclusive atmosphere with many referring to it as a “local hub for carers”.
The ASC and Positive Behaviour group for parents in Tower Hamlets is run bi-monthly by our experienced family engagement worker. Initially, this is for parents/carers of CYP accessing the service and will cover both feedback and recommendations on our own service provision and information/updates on other local services.
Our Family Engagement Coordinator will reach out to other family carers in the borough to open up the support group to a wider audience. The group is attended by an average of 10 parents per session.
We are also delivering workshops/targeted information sessions focussing on a range of topics families raise at the meeting, e.g. on health/wellbeing, managing personal budgets, understanding/managing behaviour that challenges etc.
Outcomes for parents/carers of CYP with autism and challenging behaviour in Tower Hamlets:
• Reduced social isolation and growing networks;
• Increased access to practical advice/support;
• Increased knowledge of/confidence in local service provision;
• Platform to give feedback/make recommendations;