THE STORY SO FAR….
MAIN began in 2002 at Middlesbrough’s Beverley School, a specialist school for children and young people with Autism.
The Headteacher recognised that young people with autism and their families needed easy access to dedicated support, and that this was equally true whether families chose a mainstream path or decided their child would do better in a special school.
The school initially used a small pot of Government funding to allocate a Teaching Assistant to work with families, and help them through diagnosis, understanding services, and accessing benefits. Following a highly successful pilot phase, the next step was to set up a charitable company and raise funds to continue this work.
From this simple beginning, “The MAIN Project” has gone from strength to strength. Led by a Board of volunteer Trustees, it has evolved and adapted to become the leading autism charity it is today. MAIN is here to stay.
What’s in a name? We are often asked if the letters “M A I N” have any significance. The answer is yes – Multi-Agency Inclusive Network! This title fitted in with the initial brief for the pilot project, and reflected the range of partners who supported Beverley School bid for funding. Calling ourselves “The MAIN Project” also helped to communicate the idea that support was available for families of children in mainstream education as well as those attending special schools.
After celebrating our tenth birthday, we thought we’d grown up enough to stop referring to ourselves as a “Project” all the time! So we re-launched with our current name MAIN – Taking Autism Personally.
MAIN now prides itself on working not only with children and families, but also with recognising that there are adults who need support too. MAIN has responded by successfully creating employment and business development opportunities, support towards managing independent living and social networking opportunities. At the same time, whilst retaining our principal focus on autism, we have begun to use our expertise to help with attention-related conditions and other types of special needs.
At MAIN we are well aware that having an autism spectrum condition or supporting someone who is affected by an ASC can be challenging. It can lead to personal struggles and battles to gain access to the right services. However, we also see the positives, and our team will try to help families and individuals focus on the laughter and smiles, rather than the tears and frustration. It’s about wearing the T-shirt with confidence!
If you’d like to get in touch, for a chat or more information, please just contact our team.