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Our History

Originally founded by former head teacher of Beverley School Nigel Carden in 2002, The MAIN Project was established as a registered charity to provide a short breaks for children with autism in Middlesbrough which gave parents a break from the demands of caring for a child which autism and the child an opportunity to develop their social and interpersonal skills and make friends.

Following a rebranding in 2011 MAIN – Taking Autism Personally emerged as the new name for the charity with new logo and the “I AM” strapline. The new branding embraces the ethos of the charity. The MAIN logo underlined with the smile reinforces the positivity of the charity. And the focus on it underneath the “I” demonstrates how we treat our service users as individuals. In a reflection the word MAIN reads as “I AM”. MAIN identified that “I AM” is a very powerful statement which would appeal to our service users in expressing their feelings.

MAIN’s services have continued to expand and we now provide short breaks for children with a range of disabilities in Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland, Stockton on Tees and County Durham. As well as a post 16 support service in County Durham. We also run our own clubs from our purpose built facility at Riverside Park, Middlesbrough for ages 5-adult. This expansion of service delivery has reflected in the dropping of the “Taking Autism Personally” from our branding, as it is felt to be misleading and which whilst it is still part of the registered name of the charity is now known simply as “MAIN”.

Our personal support assistant (PA) service was established in 2012: available for children and adults it enables the individual to meet a range of outcomes which include participating social opportunities and helps them engage with community activities; learn how to access public transport; budgeting; independent living which in turn increases confidence, raises self-esteem and improves the chances of living independently. Whatever the service user’s needs we have a member of staff who can work alongside them to ensure their outcomes are being met. Funding is normally accessed through a social services budget but can also be accessed through DLA or self-funding.

MAIN has two qualified and experienced teachers who deliver a range of accredited and non-accredited training courses in autism and associated conditions including PDA and ADHD. These training courses are delivered at our bespoke training room at Riverside Park, Middlesbrough and are scheduled throughout the year. In addition bespoke training can be delivered at a client’s own venue. From time to time MAIN will engage key speakers to deliver workshops and seminars on specific topics.

An Update

Due to the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday 23rd March 2020 we have made the decision to close our clubs until further notice.

Some of our PA services will continue.

All our staff will be working from home.  We will still be contactable during our usual working hours on our landline number 01642 608012; our PA phone 077967 69272 or Serviceteam@iammain.org.uk

and for Middlesbrough and Redcar & Cleveland SENDIASS Service: 07939152653 or apinkney@iammain.org.uk .  We will also be accessing our emails as usual.

We appreciate this will cause a huge amount of distress to some of our families.  If you need our support please get in touch.