FASD Awareness was born from a support service for families looking for strategies, resources, and advice around FASD. Our services have listened to our beneficiaries, and today, we support:
Individuals living with FASD
FASD is a neuro disability, Individuals living with this mainly hidden disability can experience issues with community living, education, social isolation and relationships. We aim to provide a supportive network where they, their families and carers can relax and enjoy life.
Families living with FASDs
Families and carers may require further education to understand and support the unique individuals living with FASD.
Many professionals, e.g., doctors, midwives, health visitors, social workers, and teachers, support and work with individuals with FASDs. Many are completely unaware of FASD until they attend our courses.
FASDs are the most common non-genetic form of learning disability in the UK. We aim to inform all about Prenatal Alcohol Exposure (PAE)
Our support network
Support Groups: Children and young adults with FASD can struggle socially, and isolation is common for them, their families and their carers. Support and engagement with a person with FASD is normally necessary over the entire course of their life.
FASD Awareness hosts monthly FASD Youth Friendship Groups along with FASD Adult Friendship Groups, both of which are highly successful. These groups are a great platform for young people with FASD to highlight any achievements they’ve had and talk about their favourite activities/TV programmes/music, and experiences. It is an excellent opportunity to talk to like-minded individuals in a safe environment and develop bonds and friendships.
Feedback from these groups includes:
“The FASD Friends group changed me, I now have friends and feel part of a group.” “Nice to meet people that are just like me. And knowing I’m not alone.”
Many friendships are being formed and the lives of the children, young people, their families and carers are more manageable.
We also host 1-2-1 sessions for those that are at their wit's ends and need immediate advice, signposting and resources. These sessions have become invaluable to so many and have had the most immediate positive outcomes. The sessions are usually an hour long and facilitated by Tracy Allen. Many of the individuals or families who take part in these sessions, sign up for the free monthly virtual support groups.
Throughout the year we hold a family activity day at Leeds Castle, bringing together our families for a fun day. The benefits of these activities’ days enables people living with FASD to feel more involved, enhancing their social networks. All feedback, they feel accepted as part of a growing FASD community, they feel able to offer support and guidance to each other. Activities such as nature trails, lawn games, fishing and mini sports challenges are all designed to engage and develop the children and young adults in a fun, safe environment. The days are free to attend for children and adults with FASD and their families and carers. Many bring a picnic and enjoy the opportunity to have fun and meet like-minded people in a relaxed environment.
The Covid-19 pandemic challenged us to adapt to deliver virtual services. Although we were unable to host our family activity days, we set up online services eg the Friendship groups, to ensure crucial services were available to individuals living with FASDs and their families during a particularly unprecedented and challenging two-year period. We have since retained these virtual services and reintroduced our in-person events.
“I would like to thank everyone involved with the FASD Awareness Charity for providing us with such wonderful resources. It was such a relief to find your organisation online recently, to discover the wealth of information you provide, and particularly to discover that you are running a support group. Like so many others, I have been feeling very alone in my efforts to advocate for my surrogate grand-daughter, who has spent so much of her life in the care system and displays so many of the symptoms of FASD after being born of a heroin addict mother who also drank
“I have a 3-year-old son who I adopted knowing that there was a high likelihood for FASD to be an aspect of his/our future; when seeking support for him, and guidance in how to best care for him, I remain amazed at the amount of diversions and brick walls that are put up by many of the support agencies involved – all except for FASD Awareness. There is no need to hit crisis thresholds, no need for a diagnosis, a wealth of relevant knowledge and a completely welcoming approach at the FASD support groups that has been invaluable. Further to this they have offered support and guidance at a time that it has been most needed by me and my son, so a massive THANK YOU and please continue to remain available. “
Support group members
“The FASD Friends group changed me, I now have friends and feel part of a group.”
“Nice to meet people that are just like me. And knowing I’m not alone.”
"I really enjoy the quizzes"
"We always end up talking about food, I love it"
"It’s great catching up with people living in different places and hearing about their lives"
Click on each circle to find out more
FASD Awareness provides the following services/activities, which align directly with our beneficiaries' needs:
Friendship groups for children (ages 11–17) and adults (18+) living with FASDs
Family activities with robust support to facilitate fun (e.g., Leeds Castle Activity Fun Days)
1-2-1 support sessions
Signposting to available information on a wide range of topics (e.g. getting a diagnosis, finding a school to support a child with FASD, accessing relevant benefits)
Concise, accessible information to answer pressing questions
Training/presentations to parents, groups in the medical, social care, education, and public sectors
Consulting on enhanced NICE standards and informing future policy relating to FASDs
Education relating to prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) through online publications, social media campaigns and monthly webinars
Representation of individuals living with FASDs on social media.