Autism Bedfordshire, an independent, local charity dedicated to improving the lives of autistic individuals and their families across Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, and Milton Keynes, has been graded “Outstanding” by Ofsted at their Luton Junior Activity Scheme. The scheme, runs for two weeks in July, offers a range of activities and trips for 20 Autistic children aged 3 to 9, daily.
The Ofsted report praised the scheme for its high-quality provision, staff expertise, and positive outcomes for the children. The report stated: “Children receive the highest form of support in managing their behaviour. Because staff know children so well, they are attuned to the signs that a child may be becoming overwhelmed. They take swift, yet sensitive steps to reduce anxiety for children.”
The report also highlighted the feedback from the parents and carers of the children who attended the scheme. The report said: “Parents comment that they would be lost without the scheme and their children simply wouldn’t have a summer without it. They feel thankful for the respite it provides, with the reassurance that their children are safe, secure and most of all, happy.”
Autism Bedfordshire’s Children’s Manager, Amy Gavin-Birch “We are delighted to receive this outstanding grade from Ofsted, which recognises the hard work and dedication of our staff and volunteers. We are very proud of our Junior Summer Scheme, which has been running for over 10 years, and we are grateful to all the funders, partners and supporters who make it possible. We are committed to providing high-quality services for autistic people and their families in Bedfordshire, and we look forward to continuing our work in the future.
On 4th August, the Luton Mayor, Mohammed Yaqub Hanif, the Luton South MP, Rachel Louise Hopkins, the Central Bedfordshire Council representative, Dr Hayley Whitaker, and the Trust Manager of The Steel Charitable Trust, Isla Stanger, visited the Autism Bedfordshire Summer Activity Scheme. They were greeted by a young autistic person who shared their positive experiences at the scheme. “I like to come to scheme every year to see my friends and have fun with them. People understand me here and help me if I am frustrated. They do games and fun things I like, like the animals.” The visitors were impressed by the quality and impact of the scheme, which provides support and opportunities for autistic children and young people during the summer holidays.
The “Outstanding” rating from Ofsted is a significant achievement for Autism Bedfordshire, confirming the organisation’s position as a leading provider of support and care for individuals with autism. Autism Bedfordshire remains steadfast in its mission to empower individuals with autism to lead fulfilling lives and participate actively in their communities.