Working With The National Autistic Society (NAS)
The essence of the relationship between the Anderson Foundation and the NAS is a recognition that the two organisations can work together to create a bigger impact on people’s lives.
"We are immensely grateful for Anderson's support, which is unusual because it is generous, financially efficient, and sustained"
“There is limited money from government and it’s a battle to win corporate support. Most charities have to pitch to the bigger companies to be their charity of the year, in an annual beauty parade. It’s a long and expensive process ending in a staff vote that tends to favour better known charity brands.”
Mark Anderson is a creative, commercial leader who is able to leverage not just his business, but his personal network to generate financial support for a charity that needs it and knows well how to use it.
Mark Lever is quick to point out just how vital it is:
“As a charity, we aim to be transparent about how donors money is used to transform the services we offer and the lives of people we support, and the Foundation has a big direct impact on operations.”
Specific projects include funding the helpline and family support workers, contributing to the refurbishment of a facility in Bristol, and most significantly in the development of the new education and training centre at Luxborough Lane, Chigwell.
The Anderson Foundation’s support is integrated in a creative way to leverage the value of every pound it raises. In the case of Luxborough Lane, the Anderson Group is developing the site. It is funding the school by building a quantum of private dwellings, but also adding value through its purchasing power in negotiating materials discounts.
Other ongoing projects include developing enterprising activities with children, the NAS runs a cafe and a gardening business elsewhere in the country, and at Luxborough Lane, they plan to involve students of the school in the maintenance of the site. There are also discussions about Anderson Group finding ways to take on apprentices with autism.
More About NAS
The NAS supports individuals and families as well as sponsoring research and lobbying government. The range of NAS support for those affected by autism includes diagnostic support, post diagnostic support, education, and help into employment. But funding it is a constant struggle.
More About Autism
One per cent of the UK population has an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). Many go undiagnosed; those who are, get poor post-diagnostic support and not much help with education or employment. Added to that, they face a benefits system that’s largely impenetrable to people who suffer with autism of any kind. They are poorly served by our society and rely heavily on the inadequate resources of charities.