The London Masons and the Masonic Charitable Foundation has donated £4,995 to support a South London charity, Autsu. The charity works with young people with Autism or similar complex conditions to improve lives, using their innovative and engaging virtual environment they offer a range of programmes and activities to help build confidence and develop social communication, digital and employability skills.
Autus has won the London Youth Award for Employability for its MentorMe3D e-mentoring programme. The Employability Award is for organisations, programmes or projects that have gone above and beyond in their dedication to help young people overcome barriers to enter and sustain work.
The MentorMe3D programme matched 35 autistic people (all long-term unemployed) interested in working in IT with technology professionals who were trained to understand autism. Mentors used their industry knowledge to advise mentees about working in IT and help with job applications. As a result of the programme, 8 people are now in paid work, with others achieving work-related outcomes such as work experience and volunteering.
Donna Thompson, Chief Executive Officer of Autus commented; “We are grateful to the London Masons and the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) for the grant which will enable Autus to offer our innovative skills development and employability programme to 15 young Autistic people.
People referred to Autus are very capable but have struggled to navigate mainstream education and as a result are long term unemployed and socially isolated. This funding means that we can offer a programme that enables participants to build confidence, achieve nationally recognised qualifications and receive the mentoring support they need to progress onto work or self employment.
Our virtual learning environment means that we can eliminate the usual barriers to learning that Autistic people face and keep participants engaged with interesting game-like activities and challenges to help build vocational skills in a fun way as they improve their future prospects..”