Because of my mild Asperger’s Syndrome, I tend to be a very black and white thinker: either I’m perfect 24/7, or I’m terrible at my job/ life. Often, people with autism can struggle to see the middle ground, which can be challenging at times! Last year, I was introduced to an absolutely brilliant organisation called Number 6, a One Stop Shop funded by Autism Initiatives, who help to keep my ‘all or nothing’ thinking in check, and to support me in my job. My mentor, Andy, has been an absolute godsend, and I’m hugely grateful to everything he’s done for me, and countless others. I honestly don’t know where I would be without him.
What is a One Stop Shop, I hear you ask? One Stop Shops are drop-in services for autistic adults, facilitated by staff with expertise in diagnosis, employment, benefits, housing and advocacy. Despite being underfunded and hugely overstretched, Number 6 do their very best to provide a holistic service, based on each person’s individual needs. Although most of the support provided is not mental-health specific, a recent survey of autistic adults in Scotland (conducted by Autistic Mutual Aid Society Edinburgh, aka AMASE) suggested they provide a ‘safe space’ to meet peers, empathetic allies and mentors, which has been extremely good for their mental health.
The lack of regular funding for One Stop Shops, however, is a huge concern to myself, and other autistic adults in Scotland. That’s why on 2 December, I’ll be braving the elements (no easy task for an asthmatic like me) to run an organised 10K in Inverleith Park, Edinburgh. Please donate - anything you give will go directly to Number 6!
Rebecca's festive run
I’m fundraising for Number 6 for Autism Initiatives UK because they’re invaluable to autistic adults, like me.
We provide specialist services to help people with autism & their families
Charity Registration No. 702632