Positive Path Foundation is a UK registered charity. Our primary mission is to nurture friendship, social skills, independence and work opportunities for age 16+ individuals with high-functioning ASD or physical challenges. We also offer therapy, mentoring, sibling support, play therapy and time-out respite to assist the entire family living with special needs. Advice, guidance and advocacy is available to help our families locate and secure the appropriate practical and financial support to which they are entitled.
Why is Positive Path Foundation different?
Our focus is on individuals with high-functioning ASD or physical challenges who are frequently overlooked by the system. Provision for profound disability is widely available, but we know there is a lack of adequate provision serving the real needs of high functioning children and young adults, with ASD in particular, and their families.
Individuals with high-functioning ASD or physical challenges may appear able on the surface, but they often learn to mask their challenges. This hidden disability is why our members slip through the system: they struggle with social interaction, making/maintaining friendships, low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression which can spiral into chronic mental health issues.
We are so proud to receive testimonials from members and their parents telling us we have changed their lives. Providing regular opportunities to socialise, make friends and gain essential life skills in a non-judgemental and safe environment has brought about lasting improvements in mental health for many of our members.
No-one with additional needs should miss out on what we have to offer due to economic disadvantage so, in cases of genuine hardship, we can waive our membership fees. We can also provide reduced cost therapy and advice for low-income families and parents who work for the NHS.
Positive Path Foundation members and their families live in an area between Winchester in Hampshire and Poole in Dorset.
We believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to realise their true potential and live their best life. The aim of our programme of events, workshops and activities is to end the isolation and loneliness many of our members have endured for years by helping them interact with peers socially. Our events provide regular opportunities for members to share in fun experiences and build friendships in supervised, inclusive, safe and non-judgmental environments. Over time, some members progress to making their own arrangements to meet and socialise outside of our events programme as well.
The positive impact of regular social interaction and companionship cannot be overstated – it is simply transformative. Members of the PPF Family say they have a sense of belonging and purpose since joining our charity and tell us they have made friends for life.
We never lose sight of the fact that every member is a unique individual; there can be no “one size fits all” approach in helping each overcome the challenges they face or in helping their family access the professional services they need. Our ethos is to be inclusive, non-judgemental and protective – nurturing each individual’s personal growth to reach their true potential and live the best life they can. An essential part of this approach is in building partnerships with family, health and education professionals, other organisations and employers as necessary to build positive outcomes for all of our members.
If you would like to explore further how we might help your young person with ASD or physical challenges, you as carer, or the entire family, please call or email us.
Where it all began…
After years of struggle trying to find suitable disability social groups for her son George to join, Jane Atkinson, an autism therapist with 20+ years of experience, decided to launch Positive Path Foundation to help George and the many young people like him.
PPF’s original objective, to give our members opportunities to socialise, share in new experiences, learn new life skills and make new friends, remains our core service. Our primary objective is to empower and encourage each member to realise their true potential by nurturing their mental health and wellbeing.
We now offer a range of additional services…
- Time Out for over 12’s
- Bespoke Sibling Days Out & Support
- Mentoring for ages 12+
- Therapy for individuals and the whole family
- Play therapy for children age 3+
For full information please refer to our Family Support section on this website or email Jane@positivepathfoundation.org
Jane developed Positive Path Play Therapy 22 years ago to assist her then non-verbal and classically autistic son, George. As a child his autism was severe, with limited speech, eating issues, ritualistic behaviour and no play or social skills. With Jane’s support and persistence, plus a large measure of his own determination, George overcame his challenges one by one, and after passing all his child-care courses, is today a high-functioning autistic 25 year old, in paid employment at a local school, driving his own car and socialising with the friends he has made through Positive Path Foundation.
Instagram – See what we have been up to
Meeting the team
Autism Specialist & Founder
Events, PR & Marketing Manager
Events & workshops
“Team Leaders Josh, Charlotte, Katie and George are members of PPF who act as representatives and a voice for the wider membership. They meet monthly to inform and shape our programme of events, activities and workshops, based on the other member’s feedback. The Team Leaders also welcome and support new members and act as helpers at various events when extra hands are needed.