Barnardo’s Urdu-language autism service a ‘lifeline’ for BAME parents

Children’s charity Barnardo’s is appealing for people to donate to help support specialist services that offer a vital lifeline to parents from BAME communities.

This includes the Cygnet service in Bradford, which provides specialist support to parents of children with autism and other special needs – but it needs more support to reach vulnerable families during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Nearly half (45%) of people using the service are from South Asian backgrounds, with Barnardo’s workers running sessions in Urdu to help cater to the needs of the local community. 

One of the key issues identified by the service is the stigma and misunderstanding of autism spectrum disorder among many service users and families. The Urdu sessions aim to equip parents and carers with accurate information while offering support and guidance. 

But the sharp drop in Barnardo’s income due to the coronavirus pandemic means the charity needs community support more than ever. 

The national charity says it has seen its monthly income slashed by £8million overnight as its High Street shops are closed and major fundraising events cancelled. 

Barnardo’s operates more than 1,000 services across the UK and supports children, young people, parents and carers from all ethnic and religious backgrounds.

The largest children’s charity in the UK, Barnardo’s supports around 300,000 individuals each year and 20% of these come from BAME communities.

It is appealing to Muslims across the UK to support the charity during Ramadan so vital services such as Cygnet can continue helping vulnerable children and their families.

Please visit https://www.barnardos.org.uk/ramadan or text SALMA to 70570.*

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