SEN-den is a non-profit-making community organisation which was conceived in July 2019, and registered as a community interest company (CIC) in August 2019. We came into existence having closely followed the experiences of friends living in Enfield. We realised that there is a gap in support for families whose young children have autism.
- There is not enough ongoing support available for parents trying to understand, and adjust to, their child’s suspected or confirmed ASD diagnosis.
- The voluntary and statutory support services that do exist can be difficult to find out about and / or access, when families are struggling to simply get through each day.
- The supply of available services is increasingly constrained by budget pressures, while the demand for these services continues to increase with every new child that is diagnosed.
- There are limited opportunities to meet, and build relationships with, other families on the same journey, and therefore a lack of vital peer support within communities.
- There are few sensory play, sensory learning and general leisure opportunities for children with autism and their families, particularly after-school, at weekends and during the holidays.
- There is a lot of information for families available online, spread across many websites, but it can be time-consuming and tiring to find the specific information that you really need for your child.
This situation is not specific to families living in Enfield, but reflects the national picture. In November 2019, the Education Select Committee released its report in which it stated that “Many parents face a titanic struggle just to try and ensure their child gets access to the right support.”
Charity sector professional, Enfield resident and mum, Lubna Reid, decided to create SEN-den as a community response to a national problem. She enlisted her good friend and neighbour, financial advisor and dad James Hurdman, to help her to set up a community business to support local families. SEN-den now provides a safe, supportive and informative place (both virtual and physical) for families dealing with autism.
SEN-den works in partnership with other local statutory and voluntary service providers to increase the volume and range of services available to families in Enfield; we also signpost you to existing services you may not have come across yet or don’t know how to access.
We hope our services will help you and your family to feel less alone, access useful information more conveniently and be better supported by others that understand the journey you are on.
As we are a relatively new community venture, please feel free to get in touch via our contact page, to share ideas and suggestions of what more SEN-den may be able to do to support you.