July newsletter - recent news and upcoming events for the summer

The National Autistic Society Guernsey Branch

July Newsletter

Welcome to our July Newsletter, with reviews of some of our recent events and information about all that we have going on during the summer.
Please book tickets early to avoid disappointment.
If you have any questions about any of our events or would like more
info please email info@nasguernsey.com

Adventure at Sea

Sandra Robilliard has kindly written this account of our Bristol Cutters trips, which were enjoyed by 36 people. Many thanks go to the Set Sail Trust for funding such a wonderful opportunity.

On 25th June 2016 I was lucky enough to be part of a group doing a two-hour trip on one of three traditionally built pilot cutters. Their visit to Guernsey was organised by the Set Sail Trust and Guernsey Youth Commission. NAS Guernsey were able to secure a number of free places.
We watched as the three cutters (The Merlin, Amelie Rose and Agnes) made their way majestically from their berths to the jetty. What a wonderful sight to behold! 

The crew fitted us all with life jackets, and once on board the cutters we were given some brief safety instructions. First to set off was Agnes. I was on Amelie Rose. After a short wait to allow the Condor Liberation to come in, we set off too. Passengers were free to move around the cutter, and some went to have a look at the cabin below.
The weather was lovely; some cloud, but plenty of sunshine too.  Once out of the harbour the Skipper announced that they would put up one of the sails. The First Mate set the sail with assistance from some of the passengers. The sail flapped slightly hesitantly at first before being filled by the wind. The First Mate shouted, 'Sail set, sir!' The Skipper slowed the motor initially, and then it was just ‘plain sailing’. What a thrill to be on a beautiful traditionally built boat, being propelled along by the wind. So peaceful; just the gentle movement of the boat, the water slapping against the sides, and feeling the breeze and the sun on your skin. I’m sure that if I’d closed my eyes I’d have been gently rocked off to sleep. I didn’t want to miss a single moment of the trip though!

Several of the passengers, including me, took a turn at the rudder. In order to make the cutter turn to the left, you push the rudder over to the right, and vice versa. As well as the sheer enjoyment of being out on the cutter, we also had the pleasure of watching the other two cutters sailing along. It was a truly relaxing experience, but exciting too. It isn’t every day you get to go out on beautiful vessels like these and I consider myself to be very fortunate and privileged. At one point we did bounce around a little bit in the Condor’s bow waves. We were told we might get wet, but thankfully the waves were not sufficient to result in any soggy clothing!

The 24-ton Amelie Rose was built in Cornwall in 2009 by Luke Powell of ‘Working Sail’, builders of traditional wooden pilot cutters. She was commissioned by her owner and Skipper (Nick), and the cutter is also his home. Amelie Rose is a 44-foot replica of an early-1800s Scillonian cutter, traditionally built with oak frames, oak topside planking, larch below, and bronze and copper fastened throughout. Her home port is Poole in Dorset. The Merlin is a classic Bristol Pilot Cutter based in Falmouth. Agnes is a replica of the 1841 Scillonian cutter of the same name. She was also built by Luke Powell, who is her owner and Skipper. Cutters were originally designed to ferry maritime pilots to and from large ships in order to assist in safe navigation into or out of ports in the Channel. The cutters are known for their speed and manoeuvrability, and are easy to handle with just two crew. They have been described as the best sailing boat design ever. For me being out on the Amelie Rose was the best sailing trip ever, and an experience I will certainly never forget. Sandra J Robilliard

Branch Meeting Report

In the run-up to the elections, many candidates at the Speed Hustings expressed an interest in finding out about autism. So on 29th June we held an informal Branch Meeting at Pelicans@Kings; the deputies who came to meet us included Gavin St Pier, Emilie Yerby, Jennifer Merrett, Peter Ferbrache, Matt Fallaize, Richard Graham and John Gollop. 

After the meeting, Gavin St Pier tweeted that it was 'enlightening and humbling to meet those impacted by autism.' Richard Graham said: 'I was greatly enlightened about how autism practically affects the lives of those who suffer from it and their close families. I was also previously ill-informed about the role of our government in ensuring that due care and support is given to those in need of it, through childhood and beyond into adulthood. I had several conversations which will stay with me throughout my time as a deputy and which will be of enormous help when I am required to contribute to the process by which the States as a whole decides on priorities for the allocation of limited resources.'

Thank you to all the deputies who attended - we appreciated your taking the time to listen to us.


Due to popular demand, on 2nd July we held a Jumping session with Dana from Pure FunFit Guernsey.

The children had a fantastic time jumping on their own mini trampolines to music, then jumping from one trampoline to another as they were joined together

Our next Jumping session will be on Saturday 20th August at 11.30am - go to Eventbrite for more info and to book.

Summer Calendar
Our full summer calendar is available at http://www.nasguernsey.com/events but here are a few suggestions of events for which a few spaces are currently available:
Autism Seminars for Families
Part 1: Thursday 7th July
Part 2: Thursday 14th July
7.30-9.30pm on both dates (NB you must be able to attend both)

This informal round-the-table style seminar provides parents with an opportunity to discuss the diagnosis, learn more about autism and communication, and understand how to access support. 

It aims to provide parents with opportunities to share experiences, strategies and approaches to help them understand their child and support them in the future. 
7.30-9.30 pm on Thursday 7th July and Thursday 14th July

Venue: Autism Guernsey office (Suite 1, Cranwell House, Route du Picquerel, L’Islet, St Sampson GY2 4SD)
Directions: If you turn onto the coast road from Checkers Express, the office is on the left above Melody Press the printers.
Please email info@nasguernsey.com to book.

Further seminars on Managing Anger and Sensory Needs will be run in early autumn.

Summer Picnic Party
Sunday 17th July

We are hoping that the weather will be glorious and sunny - if so please join us for lunch by bringing along a picnic to eat outside in the playground. We shall provide tea/coffee and cold drinks as well as cakes and biscuits.  If the weather is not good we will still go ahead indoors. (please note that being solely indoors could make it a noisy event and some children with sensory needs may find it overwhelming. We do have some ear defenders available to borrow if this may help)

We shall have the bouncy castles, indoor and outdoor toys, Lego and arts and crafts as usual.

All families with children with autism/ADHD are very welcome to attend (diagnosed or not!) This is a great opportunity to get together and meet other families. Our book library will be available for browsing and borrowing - if you have any outstanding items on loan that you have finished with then please bring them along and return.


Social Sundays at Styx

Sunday 10th July, 24th July, 7th August, 21st August
2.00-4.00pm at Western Community Centre

Pop in for a cup of tea and a friendly chat. Plenty of toys to keep the children amused. Have a look at our book and sensory toy libraries and meet other families and Branch volunteers. No need to book - just pop in!

Born to Move™ (taster session)

Saturday 23rd July at Kings Club, Kings Road, St Peter Port

BORN TO MOVE™ is a series of movement-based classes that teach age-appropriate motor skills to improve agility, balance, coordination, endurance, flexibility and speed. 

Although Kings offer the classes for 2-3yrs, 4-5yrs, 6-7yrs and 8-12yrs, this taster session is suitable for all ages - the teacher will adapt the content depending on the children who come along and take part.

Following the class you will be asked for feedback. Kings are running regular classes throughout the summer holidays which may be suitable for your child to join in with, or if there is enough demand they would be willing to run an autism specific class at 9am on Thursday mornings.

There is a quiet waiting room area where parents can sit during the class, or if it is appropriate you can join in the session alongside your child.

Cost: £5 per child. Please book via Eventbrite


Art and Craft Workshop – The Seaside

Monday 25th July
10.00am-12.00pm at Western Community Centre (Styx)

This themed art workshop is suitable for children aged approximately 5-11 years old. Siblings and friends are welcome to attend.

We shall be making a seaside-themed photo frame (perfect for displaying your favourite summer holiday snap!), making sandcraft pictures and painting model sailing boats.

Please wear old clothes or bring an old shirt/apron to wear as things will be messy!
Drinks and biscuits will be provided.
Please note: a parent/carer is required to stay on site at all times and you will be encouraged to get involved and join in!
If it is a nice day then why not stay on for a picnic lunch in the playground?

Space is limited to just 10 children.
Cost: £7 per child. Please book via Eventbrite


Saturday 30th July from 1pm

This is set to be a busy Sailing Saturday as Dave Le Page will be holding 30-minute sessions on the model yacht pond, then taking out two groups in a keel boat for a one-hour trip.
For information and to book the model yacht pond sessions please click here
If you are interested in the keel boat trips please email info@nasguernsey.com

August and September Events

We have a jam-packed calendar of events planned for August and early September. There's no excuse to be bored over the summer holiday!
Tea on the Beach - Tuesday 2nd August
Geocaching at Fort Doyle - Wednesday 3rd August
Kayaks/canoes and BBQ at Cobo - Friday 5th August
Social Sunday - Sunday 7th August
High ropes at Rue Mainguy - Tuesday 9th August
Decoupage Art & Craft Workshop - Wednesday 10th August
Powerboating - Friday 12th August 

Overnight Stay at Castle Cornet - Saturday 13th August
Jumping - Saturday 20th August
Social Sunday - Sunday 21st August
Kayaks/canoes and Picnic Lunch - Tuesday 23rd August
Jungle Art & Craft Workshop - Thursday 25th August
Tea on the Beach - Wednesday 31st August
Archery - Friday 2nd September
Social Sunday - Sunday 4th September
Fencing - date tbc
Please do book early for these events to avoid disappointment. Details available at http://nasguernsey.com/events
Something for the Grown-Ups!

We all deserve the chance to let our hair down and relax, and the Autism Guernsey Caribbean Evening at Roc Salt is set to be great fun. Rum punch on arrival, Caribbean-style food and live band music. Fancy dress welcome (prize for best dress). £25 a ticket. Contact Autism Guernsey on 245272 or office@autismguernsey.org.gg for tickets.

How far will you fly for autism?

On 22 August, we launch our first ever virtual balloon race!

Buy virtual balloons and compete to travel the farthest to win exciting prizes, including an iPad Air! Our virtual balloon race start will be on 22 August, so don't miss your chance to join in!
For more information, go to http://www.autism.org.uk/get-involved/raise-money/special-events/balloon-race.aspx

ADHD support group

As some of you may be aware, the ADHD support group has recently ceased their activities. At a recent committee meeting it was agreed that we (NAS Guernsey Branch) would now incorporate their work and remit into our Branch with Mrs Rachael Major acting as our ADHD representative. 

NAS Guernsey be liaising with Education and CAMHS to increase the awareness of the needs of children with ADHD. Wigwam will also continue to offer support for families with children with ADHD.

We have accepted their donation of library books and resources into our own book library. We shall make sure that specific information regarding ADHD is included where relevant on our website and in our newsletters.

We have made provision for children with ADHD and other related neurological conditions at our events for some time, but will now endeavour to ensure that we specifically consider the needs of both people with autism and ADHD when planning our events and training calendar. Most of the time it is likely to be suitable to promote events for everyone, but sometimes more specific and separate activities will be provided.

New Books

Following requests, we have recently purchased a number of new library books which are now available for borrowing:

The Weighted Blanket Guide: Everything You Need to Know about Weighted Blankets and Deep Pressure for Autism, Chronic Pain, and Other Conditions  Parker, Eileen

Understanding Pathological Demand Avoidance Syndrome in Children: A Guide for Parents, Teachers and Other Professionals  Christie, Phil

Why Do I Have To?: A Book for Children Who Find Themselves Frustrated by Everyday Rules  Leventhal-Belfer, Laurie

The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children Greene, Ross W., PhD

Sensory Issues for Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder Heffernan, Diarmuid

Little Big Sister  McCoy, Amy B.

A slice of Autism: What's normal anyway  Myers, Mrs Michelle Louise

Self-Regulation Interventions and Strategies: Keeping the Body, Mind & Emotions on Task in Children with Autism, ADHD or Sensory Disorders Garland, Teresa

Sensory Perceptual Issues in Autism and Asperger Syndrome, Second Edition Bogdashina, Olga

The Nine Degrees of Autism: A Developmental Model for the Alignment and Reconciliation of Hidden Neurological Conditions Wylie, Philip

A full list of all the 165 books in our library can be found at nasguernsey.libib.com  

Have you liked us on Facebook?

Our Facebook page is the best way to keep up to date with what is going on and receive last minute reminders. We are now heading towards 700 people liking our page which helps us share local news about Branch events and projects.

National Autistic Society Guernsey Branch | Promote your Page too

For more details of all Branch activities and events please visit our local website:


Copyright © 2016 The National Autistic Society Guernsey Branch, All rights reserved.
Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp