This is the first time Fortec has supported the nationwide charity, whose goal, since it was established in 1962, has been to transform the lives of autistic people and change attitudes in society.
Their services have established the National Autistic Society as one of the largest providers of specialist autism services where their highly trained staff provide support for 100,000 autistic people every year whether it’s at home, in school or in the community.
By running a number of services to support autistic people, the National Autistic Society has established community day hubs, social groups, supported living services, specialist schools and employment support services.
The Society has 116 volunteer-led branches across the UK with over 18,000 members and is funded solely through voluntary contributions.
With eight specialist, independent and free schools in the UK, the NAS has provided specialist autism education for over 50 years to children and young people, aged from four to 21.
To help the National Autistic Society achieve their goal to make a world that works for autistic people, staff and Fortec’s 84-strong member network will conducting various fundraising events throughout the year with the aim of reaching a £5,000 target for the remainder of the year.
To kick off the fundraising Fortec has recently taken part in a gruelling 72-hole golf challenge and over the remainder of the year a number of other events will take place including a 6-a-side football tournament as well as becoming involved in a host of challenges and volunteering support to reach their goal.
Sophie O’Donoghue, the National Autistic Society’s Head of Corporate Partnerships, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be Fortec’s chosen charity for 2018.
“At the National Autistic Society, we know that better understanding of autism is the key to improving the lives of autistic people and their families. By volunteering their time and raising money for us, Fortec’s fantastic staff are helping to increase understanding, and their donations will allow the charity to provide even more vital advice and support via our national helpline, or through our branches and direct services across the UK.
“We rely on the support of the public, so we can continue to help the 700,000 autistic people in the UK and any donation we receive brings us a little bit closer to making a world that works for autistic people, their families and carers”
There are around 700,000 autistic people currently living in the UK and the National Autistic Society face an up-hill challenge in providing support to all those that desperately need it – a current key issue that the national charity faces on a daily basis.
According to the charity’s latest research, 70% of autistic adults say that they are not receiving the help they need from social services, with the same percentage claiming that with more support they would feel less isolated.
The lack of support also stretches into working life with only 16% of autistic adults in the UK currently in full-time paid employment.
Commenting on naming the National Autistic Society as their sponsored charity, Andrea Martin, Fortec’s Marketing Manager said: “It’s a really exciting opportunity to engage both Fortec’s staff and its members with the National Autistic Society.
“Autism affects around 1% of the total population of the UK and desperately needs increasing support, not just for autistic people themselves, but for those closest to them as well.
“Given that just £10 a month donation gives a parent of an autistic child access life-changing support from National Autistic Society services such as the Parent to Parent line, we hope that Fortec’s fundraising target of £5000 can really make a difference to improving the lives of autistic people and their families in the UK.
“It’s a fantastic cause and we look forward to sponsoring the national charity for the forthcoming year.”
Established in 1996, Daventry-based Fortec has more than 84 members across the UK, many of whom have been with the network for a considerable number of years and is now one of the leading pallet networks in the UK and Ireland.