“Being welcomed into the SNAP family has changed our lives”

Being a SNAP family changes lives for the better. Just ask Jane, whose family is one of 4,689 who have been supported since 1994. Here, in her words, Jane talks about her personal family journey.

“I honestly don’t know what we would have done without SNAP!” says Jane, who first contacted us four years ago.

I initially heard about SNAP through several friends of friends and family members. It took me a while to pluck up courage to make contact. I’ll never forget that friendly upbeat phone call that made me feel immediately at ease.

I attended a pre-school session at SNAP on a Monday bringing my son Charlie, who is autistic, along for his first visit to ‘see the ladies’ as it then became know in our house. I was relieved, upset, happy and overwhelmed all in one go. For the first time  in Charlie’s life we felt welcomed and at home at a pre-school group. For the first time my little boy, who was almost three-years-old, could be himself.

Jane and Charlie – now seven – have enjoyed Therapeutic Thursdays and holiday sessions as well as more pre-school sessions. Jane has also accessed a variety of informative parent training, and been supported by a million(!) phone calls and conversations.

“Charlie and I attended very regularly in the early years and I very much relied on SNAP for advice, support, and a shoulder to cry on. We then welcomed Dan – my now hubby – into our family and he immediately became part of SNAP, very much believing in everything they stand for.”

We have now had a baby daughter, Sofia, and it turns out she will also require the support of SNAP growing up too. The difference in receiving her diagnosis, knowing we would have the support of our friends here, has made a whole world of difference.

Jane says it’s the smallest things that can make such a big difference to parents and children:

One of the lovely volunteers, Joan, remembered years after working with Charlie that his favourite snack is cucumber – he always has one close to hand! Very special people work and volunteer for SNAP and it has honestly changed our lives being welcomed into the SNAP family.

We have laughed, cried and shared so many memories with SNAP over the years. Believe me we are so lucky to have this resource local to us in Brentwood. There are very few organisations like it across the UK and others living outside our borough really would love to have this resource available.

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