Hillingdon Autistic Care and Support
Dudley Place Off Pinkwell Lane Hayes UB3 1PB
Tel: 0208 606 6780

About Us

Hillingdon Autistic Care & Support is a registered charity which was set up in 1997 by parents and carers within the London Borough of Hillingdon who had a member of their family on the autism spectrum.

The Charity first operated from a small portakabin on the grounds of a specialist school in Hillingdon, run by volunteers. Over the last 16 years, HACS has grown from a small grass-roots parent support group to an organisation receiving core funding from the London Borough of Hillingdon and 3 major grant funders, with a team of seven Resource Centre staff members and over 80 Recreation staff. In November 2009, the Leader of Hillingdon Council, Councilor Ray Puddifoot sourced new premises for the Charity, the current HACS Resource Centre in Hayes. The current facilities include an administration suite, secure outdoor space, sensory room, conference/training room and two classrooms. This move proved to be a catalyst for expansion of the Charity; a base in the heart of the community significantly raised awareness of and demand for our services amongst both families and professionals.

The Charity’s overarching aim is to minimise disability and maximise ability of individuals on the autism spectrum, through provision of high quality Family Support, Training and Recreation Services. We will strive to improve their quality of life through continued efforts to raise awareness of autism, campaigning for appropriate support at local and national level and by promoting inclusion in universal services.

We work in close partnership with range of education, health and social care bodies, both statutory and voluntary within the London Borough of Hillingdon in order to provide efficient and high quality services to the residents of Hillingdon. HACS are key partners in a newly developed Autism Strategy and Operation Group for the London Borough of Hillingdon. The ASD Task and Finish group was set up in Hillingdon in December 2012 by NHS in partnership with the Local Authority to identify priorities in Children’s services for autism moving forward, in line with the “Children’s Pathways Programme”. HACS are represented on this group which has been a platform for raising awareness of our services in Hillingdon amongst professionals supporting individuals with autism.
Quality assurance is a priority for HACS; the organisation has achieved PQASSO Level 1 Quality Mark. The organisation is also a member of the National Council for Voluntary Organisation. Our staff and Trustees attend networking and training events and have access to the latest news and developments in the third sector.
Subsequently HACS have developed a highly respected and professional reputation, not only in Hillingdon but across West London and are held in highest esteem by the range of professionals, agencies and families who work with us.

Mission Statement

Hillingdon Autistic Care and Support (HACS) are committed to raising awareness, knowledge and understanding of the Autism Spectrum. We are dedicated to supporting those affected by this complex condition in order to minimise their disability and maximize their ability.

Our Values

Our services will be person-centred; this means that it is important to see the world from the perspective of the person on the autism spectrum, in order to understand them. Our services will be centered around the individual and their needs, unlike other services where the expectation is that the individual should adapt to suit the mainstream environment.

We will employ a “whole organisation approach”. Every member of staff will impact on the delivery of our services, whether they are a Trustee or a volunteer; they are all important and can be as effective as each other. It is therefore essential that all staff and volunteers understand what the Charity is trying to achieve and share the same aspirations for our service-users. We will achieve this through on-going training for all Trustees, Resource Centre staff, casual staff and volunteers either through internal training sessions or through conferences and externally verified courses. Consistency is central to the “whole organisation approach”. Staff and volunteers will be consistent in all areas of the Charity’s work, particularly following the adopted policies and procedures, maintaining boundaries and following agreed behaviour management strategies for children and young people. There will always be a forum to discuss policies, procedures and strategies that are used, but once there is an agreed strategy and way of working it will be followed.

We will provide an holistic approach to meet the needs of each individual on the autism spectrum and their families. This will be achieved through the integration of our Family Support, Training and Recreation services and also sustaining our partnership working with education, health and social care agencies across the borough of Hillingdon in order to meet the needs of the individual, their parents/carers and siblings. We will also provide advice, guidance and support to the professionals working with the individual, such as school staff.

We will adopt a team approach across the organisation; however it is important, when considering a team approach, who is on the team and what the approach is. Simply put, everyone whether they be a Trustee, Resource Centre staff, casual staff or volunteer is part of the team. Individually, they all impact on the delivery, they are all important and can all be as effective as each other. Therefore, it is necessary that they all understand what the organisation is trying to achieve and work together to achieve common goals. The management system will have clear direction, encouraging teamwork and promoting support, thereby valuing the contribution that each staff member has to offer. Communication within the team is essential and has to be managed through handover meetings, records, staff emails, visually using message boards and summative reporting.

What Is Autism

Autism is a lifelong, developmental disability, characterised by impairments in social communication, social interaction and flexibility of thought. Together, these difficulties will affect the way people with autism communicate and interact with the rest of the world. Individuals with autism may also experience difficulties with sensory integration. Our senses process information to help us function in daily life, which means these difficulties may result in stress, anxiety or challenging behaviour.

A diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder describes a range of disorders including Asperger’s Syndrome, childhood autism, High Functioning Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS). People with autism may also have an accompanying learning disability which affects intellectual functioning; learning difficulty such as dyslexia or dyspraxia; or mental health problem, including depression or anxiety.

Autism is a spectrum disorder and therefore manifests in a continuum of need. Whilst individuals with autism will share certain areas of difficulties, the level and complexity of need will vary between each individual. However, regardless of the level of need, thenature of autism is such that all areas of an individual’s life are likely to be affected due to the difficulties they experience in communicating, interacting and making sense of the world. Some people with autism are able to live relatively independent lives but others may face additional challenges, which affect them so profoundly that they need support in many areas throughout their lives.