Connections is a programme of support in Scotland aimed at tackling social isolation and loneliness and is open to autistic adults aged 25 to 55.
Autistic people experience communication and sensory differences, which can make forming social relationships and social interaction difficult. In Scotland, 67% of autistic people feel socially isolated, and they are four times more likely to experience chronic loneliness than the general population.
This project will help build connections between autistic adults facing similar transitions, life stages and challenges – such as unemployment and late diagnosis.
There are three groups which meet fortnightly over 12 months:
Group 1: for autistic adults aged 25-35, meeting online and in-person in Glasgow area
Group 2: for autistic adults aged 35-55, meeting online and in-person in Glasgow area
Group 3: for autistic women aged 25-55, meeting online only and open to autistic women across Scotland
Crucially, although trained staff/volunteers will facilitate the groups, members will be empowered to choose activities which they feel are most useful and of interest to them.
This user-led approach will reduce the harms associated with social isolation and loneliness, by building a community where everyone contributes and is valued. Members will be encouraged to showcase their unique strengths and interests, within an environment free of judgement and stigma. They will also support one another to overcome shared challenges and work towards personal goals, with empathy, acceptance and reassurance.
After participating in the programme, members will be signposted onto positive destinations, equipped with greater social strategies, self-confidence, and resilience. For more information about the programme, please email SocialProgrammesscotland@nas.org.uk.
This programme is funded by the Social Isolation and Loneliness fund.
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