SJOG service recognised for good autism practice

Sandwn Road in Billingham has been awarded Autism Accreditation by the National Autistic Society, the UK’s leading charity for autistic people.

The Specialist Accredited Award was given in recognition our good autism practice, with particular recognition by the Accreditation Committee given for the staff team’s specialist approaches so that support is personal-centred and tailored to individual qualities, abilities, interests, preferences and challenges.  It was also highlighted that practice was informed by an understanding of how to support each autistic person in their communication and social integration, in becoming more self-reliant, in sensory regulation and in maintaining their emotional well-being.

Autism Accreditation is an autism-specific quality assurance programme. It was set up by the National Autistic Society in 1992 to improve the support available to autistic people in organisations throughout the UK and across the world, including local authorities, NHS trusts, education authorities, schools, colleges and more. To gain Accreditation, organisations have to meet a standard of excellence and follow a framework for continuous self-examination and development. Over 500 organisations in the UK are now accredited.

Ashley Wilson, SJOG’s Head of Service Development and Quality said, “We are delighted and proud to receive this award by NAS and that our expertise in good autism practice has been recognised.  This learning and expertise will be developed in more of our services going forward, which will have a significant and positive impact on autistic people supported by SJOG both now and in the future.”

January 2022

SJOG’s Advisory Council seeks new members

Hannah, Craig and Peter are on a mission to recruit more members to the Advisory Council as it continues to grow and ensure many more voices of the people that SJOG supports are heard. 

“We need more people to take part in the Advisory Council, especially people who are not able to communicate verbally,” says Hannah

One of the key aims of the Council is to inform the decision-making of the trustee board on any items of the board agenda that it wishes to express a view on, as well any other aspects of the direction of SJOG that it considers important.  This builds on the approach of embedding decision-making by the people that we are here to serve at every level of the organisation to ensure that we have real representation and to demonstrate our commitment to improving the quality of what we do through involving the people we support.

“It’s a brilliant thing to have at SJOG.  It gives us a voice in how we would like things to be done, how to develop things.” said Craig.

And Peter likes that he is able to talk to people, that he can voice his opinion and give ideas, and that everyone listens.  He also likes the opportunity it gives to make new friends and to work.

And a last word from Craig, “I feel absolutely privileged to be part of the Advisory Council – long may it continue!”


January 2022

SJOG team raise funds for people affected by dementia

Last month SJOG colleagues Lisa, Ashley and Emily all took part in the Alzheimer's Society Memory Walk.  They were joined by ffriends Gemmy and Kelly to complete the 7k walk in South Shields to raise vital funds for people affected by dementia. 

Ashley Wilson Head of Service Development & Quality said: “We were walking for Lisa’s mum and Emmalyne’s step-dad Collin who has recently passed away. The walk was a lovely experience to see everyone together for the same goal.” 

The SJOG team raised a brilliant £972 which will help fund research to find a cure and support people living with dementia in the UK. 

To find a memory walk in your area visit: 

 December 2021

Great achievements..

Here is Sailesh showing off his carving talents.  Sailesh completed his work at the carving project run by Voices in Exile and the Green Spaces Project.  Voices in Exile is a community organisation that as well as providing practical and legal support for migrants, runs a range of programs to enable people to practise their English and participate in a range of learning and creative activities. And The Green Spaces Project is a small Covid-safe support group for those who like to meet outdoors.

SJOG project worker, Ewa, said: “Sailesh has done so well with the project that they have now decided to take him on board as a volunteer!  We are so proud of him and can't wait to see what he does next.”

SJOG’s Modern Slavery Services provide accommodation and outreach services to support victims of trafficking or modern day slavery. Safe-houses provide a safe space and a supportive environment with specialist support to help people rehabilitate and recover from their experiences.

December 2021

SJOG launches new environmental audit

As COP26 is taking place in Glasgow this week (1 Nov 21), SJOG launches its new environmental audit to further its commitment of moving closer to being a net-zero organisation.

Central to SJOG’s core values is that we are stewards of creation and so should run the organisation in a way that has a positive impact on the communities in which we work, building sustainability into everything we do.

Our community researchers were instrumental in pulling this audit tool together.  Aurianna and Imogen, both funded by Kickstart, the Government’s work scheme for young people, have produced this audit tool for use; just one of many valuable contributions to the charity.

The audit tool will be used throughout our services to review the waste and energy practices, with key aims of educating colleagues to become aware of the energy usage and waste created in the services they work, and effecting behavioural changes that will impact on our services, making them more environmentally friendly.

November 2021

Trustees' Week 1 - 5 November 2021

This week is Trustees week, where we shine a light on our trustees. Trustees volunteer their time freely to make sure that SJOG is well run and heading in the right direction. Details of our current trustees are listed here and this week we also welcome two new trustees.

Fela Aromolaran is a geophysicist who has worked in the oil and gas industry and has undertaken substantial work with local communities around the world. Fela has a real interest in sustainable development and  brings his experience of developing feasibility assessments, project management and managing risk to the board.

Catherine Rennolds started her career as a nurse, developed other nurses, and moved into people development at PwC where she progressed to become ‘Global Director for Leadership Development’. Catherine has worked all over the world and now runs her own business as an executive coach in the North East. As we continue to focus on how we can support our colleagues to flourish, Catherine’s skills, knowledge and experience will be invaluable.


November 2021

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