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 formed a partnership with Minstead Trust!
Through this new partnership, all members of the Positive Path Foundation that are ready for employment, will be welcomed onto Minstead Trust’s Employability Pathway in the Hampshire, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole area.
Likewise, anyone who joins Minstead Trust’s employability programmes can be signposted to Positive Path Foundation, to help improve the social and emotional wellbeing of the people we are working with.
Both charities are aiming to tackle the chronically low levels of employment among people with learning disabilities, which is only 5.1% (NHS Digital 2021).
We are most grateful to receive ongoing support in various forms from Hampshire & Isle of Wight Community Foundation, supporting our work in tackling the social isolation and mental health issues that many of our members experience.
We are also delighted to have recently received an award of £5,000 from Dorset Community Foundation GVC Fund to help us provide more local events, activities and workshops for Positive Path members in the Dorset area.
We also thank The National Lottery Community Fund for its support in the shape of a 2022 Awards for All grant. This helped us with the cost of staff to deliver our exciting and varied programme of 2023 events, activities and workshops.
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.