Cash to help Keynsham charity spread its wings

Published on: 06 Nov 2012

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Cash to help Keynsham charity spread its wings

A charity that supports children with autism and their families has received nearly £4,500 towards its planned expansion and to help fund the services it runs. Trisha Williams with Cllr Alan Hale, left, and volunteer and church hall member Les Herbert

Butterflies-Haven received the cash from B&NES councillors Marie Longstaff and Alan Hale, who used part of their Ward Councillors Initiative Fund to make the donation.

They have now backed calls for more volunteers to help the charity, which offers the Parents’ Snug for parents and carers, a dads’ group which meets at The Ship Inn, and groups and activities for siblings as well as for the youngsters who are on the autistic spectrum.

The charity has grown rapidly since it was set up in 2009, with its Young Voice group welcoming around six or seven youngsters two years ago to around 30 or 40 today.

Founder Trisha Williams is working with St Francis Church Hall, where the group meets, to build an extension to provide Butterflies-Haven with a permanent base and more room.

Trisha said: “This money will enable us to cover the additional costs of running an expanded group and provide a support service for the siblings of children somewhere on the autistic spectrum, including trips and activities. We are now keen to build upon this investment by asking more people to come forward and volunteer for us. This would allow us to help many more families and children.”

Councillor Hale said: “Butterflies-Haven provides an essential service for families of young people with autism. They offer high quality advice and support which I am aware reduces the feeling of isolation and loneliness.”

Trisha said she is also keen to raise awareness among local authority, education and health care leaders about better meeting the needs of those living with autism.

Anyone who could volunteer or support the charity or wants to find out more about its services can get in touch at or visit

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