World Autism Awareness Day

Today it is World Autism Awareness Day, which the UN back in 2007 designated 2nd April to be the day as a way to raise awareness about autistic people throughout the world, as well as to highlight the need to help improve their quality of life, for example physical and mental health.

That is why we are using this day to celebrate and share about out Fencing 4 Change programme.

Fencing 4 Change is our first programme at The Change Foundation that works with those that are classed as being neurodiverse and the first programme to use the art of fencing as a tool. The programme has a focus on working with those on the autistic spectrum disorder that are aged between 11 to 16 years old focusing on core motor skills and social skills development.

Young people on the autistic spectrum have a lack of social skills and core motor skills that they need to thrive in adult life the sport of fencing helps them to develop these in their own way, the individuality of the sport means that no one feels excluded or like they are falling behind.

The young people on the programme are also very susceptible to mental health issues later in life so by having access to coach mentors with lived and learned experience that have gone through these issues in their own lives they are able to pass on their knowledge and experience of creating coping mechanism to help prevent these issues from happening.

The programme has worked with 93 young people this year so far though our network of clubs within London.

Daniel Mynott, Impact and Insight Manager and Fencing 4 Change programme manager said.

“I have seen so much change in the young people we have worked with this year, long lasting friendships made over the common interest of fencing, young people becoming like a completely different person in the session because they enjoy the individual nature of the sport, so much more than any team sport has ever done for them.”

We want to also take this time to thank out partner British Fencing as well as our funders City Bridge Trust and St James Place!

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