Where it all began
In early 2014 Shirley Murphy spoke to her co-ordinator at the organisation she was a volunteer for and suggested the need for a support group for parent carers and their families who have children with Autism. A staff member from the organisation managed to secure some funding of £1000 to start off the support group.
Our first meeting was on 2nd October 2014 at Distington Community Centre, and from that meeting our membership became larger and larger from 12 to now we have 632 members.
We have since became a registered charity and have been successful in securing a grant from the lottery and our biggest achievement is gaining our own premises.
This will only lead to bigger and better things in the future of our group and the team are very excited at making this group even more fantastic than it already is…
Hello, My name is Shirley, mum to Daniel whose main disability is his Blindness and was diagnosed with Autism when he was 13. I am the chair and treasurer for our support group which just keeps flourishing into something quite wonderful. I am also chair for Cumbria Parent Carer Forum. I have been a volunteer worker within the field of disabilities for the past 40 years and I am still as passionate now as I was then.
I have run a youth club called no limits for over 2 years now, for any disability ages 8yrs to 25yrs.
I joined the group last year as when my child was younger there was no daily support or advice like this group brings and just hope I can be helpful with experiences with Autism I've had in the past to others.
I have a son called Alex, an older child!!! (partner) called Mark, i have Autistic traits myself which shows in my ways.
My role in the group is Trustee and younger children activities Co-ordinator.
I have been a member of the group now for over three years.
Two years of which I helped to organise all the activities for Autistic children and their siblings to enjoy, which seeing them happy with others is amazing.
I have a brother who has Autism and Prader Willi Syndrome and also a niece with Autism. I started coming along to group activities with a friend to help her out and seen what an awsome job this group does, and seeing the children enjoy each others company and how the parents have other parents to support each other and talk to, its like a little family so I asked if I could join the team. So I joined the team in 2019 and became a fundraiser which is now my role.