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Welcome to our World centre

Centre acknowledged as a “happy, safe and secure” place for people with autism

A facility in Dagenham that supports people living with autism has received a prestigious accreditation from the National Autistic Society following an inspection in June.

The Welcome to Our World (WOW) service, based at the Heathlands Day Centre on the Heathway, became one of only 246 organisations in the country to achieve accredited status.

A report published by the National Autistic Society found people using the facility were “happy, safe and secure” and had “clear and consistent structures and routines” helping them to feel confident and continually develop.
The centre’s five staff members were praised for building “positive and trusting” relationships with the people using the facility and using best practice techniques to meet their needs.

The inspection looked at four key areas covering the differences in social communications, problem solving and self-reliance, sensory experiences, and emotional well-being.  

Councillor Maureen Worby, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health Integration, said: “This is a fantastic achievement and we’re delighted to be recognised nationally with the autism accreditation for all the hard work and dedication that has been invested into the facility over the years.

“Not only does it demonstrate the outstanding level of support available to people with autism in Barking and Dagenham, but it shows that having a disability does mean you are excluded – we’re all one borough, one community with no one left behind.”

The autism accreditation scheme launched in 1992 and is the only autism-specific quality assurance programme of support and development. To achieve certification, organisations must meet a standard of excellence and follow a framework.

The WOW service launched in 2003 and currently delivers tailored support for anyone aged 18 to 65.