Autism Stars Christmas Party!

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1 Autism Stars Christmas Party! Spread a little sparkle with us!

2 2 Thank you for making a difference with The National Autistic Society this Christmas!

3 Autism Stars Christmas Party Contents Welcome to your Autism Stars Christmas Party Pack 4 An easy guide to planning your party 5 Sparkling ideas to help you raise money 6 More ideas for your celebration 7 Coping with Christmas 7 Raising money for The National Autistic Society 8 How working together to raise funds makes a difference 8 Some practical tips for your party 9 Autism Stars Christmas Party a handy to-do list

4 Welcome to your Autism Christmas Stars Party Pack! We hope this pack inspires you to plan a really special party that everyone will enjoy. Perhaps you already host a Christmas get-together each year or you ve always wanted to but don t know where to start. This guide will give you some helpful tips, and your Supporter Fundraising Officer is always on hand to talk things over. Holding an Autism Stars Christmas Party is a great way to get together, celebrate achievements and raise money to improve the lives of people with autism. The festive season is full of fun and excitement but it can also be a difficult time of year for people on the autism spectrum. Changes to routine, new social activities and commitments and even different food can be a real challenge. Holding an autism-friendly party brings people together and gives them a chance to celebrate without the pressures that Christmas celebrations can sometimes bring. By helping to raise awareness and much-needed funds, it brings about positive lasting change to all those whose lives are touched by autism in the UK. Thank you for all of your amazing support this year and well done for everything you have achieved in support of The National Autistic Society. Please keep in touch we look forward to hearing how your party went and seeing your photos! Kate Donohue Head of Supporter Fundraising 4

5 An easy guide to planning your party Whether you want to build on a party you were already planning, or host a fabulous big bash from scratch, you can make it work for everyone invited. Here are three star-studded guides to planning the right party for you: 1 Keep it simple Venue: Use a home space or your regular venue to host your event. You could use Christmas decorations, fairy lights and cushions to create a sensory space. What to do on the day: Welcome your party guests with a great introduction. Let them know what you and The National Autistic Society have achieved as a whole this year. Offer Christmas refreshments and organise a short recital of songs or readings. We have put together a list of songs and readings for you to use, or you can always pick a few personal favourites. Finish off with some carols or fun music. 2 Be a little bit starry... Venue: Use a community centre, small church or other space available to you. Try to find somewhere with audio/visual equipment, or to add a sing-along factor, how about a piano? You could create a simple sensory space with cushions and fairy lights, and include some Santathemed craft activities or games. 3 Make it star-tacular! Venue: You could use a church, hired venue, or other space available to you, perhaps with a seated eating area. Don t forget the party hats and crackers! Create a sensory space with ipad apps, lights and toys. Make an activity area for young children and a chill out space for young adults. What to do on the day: As before, but add a Christmas-themed buffet and seek out local performers or schools to come along and take part in your recital. Adding the star factor: Invite a local dignitary or two, and supportive members of the public to join you. Let the local paper know about your event and ask local businesses for their support. What happens on the day: As above, but perhaps include a larger programme of songs or readings. Try out a sibling or parent reading session with a Christmas song medley to finish. 3 5

6 Sparkling ideas to help you raise money 1 Pre-sell tickets to the party at a set price (either by individual or by family price). Set a reasonable price against what you plan to spend and what you think the day is worth. This way you will also have a good idea of how many to expect on the day. 2 Have a Christmas-themed activity and ask for a small donation to take part for example, meet Santa, a Christmas sweepstake, letters to Santa or Hanging a star on a tree. 3 Arrange a star raffle prizes could come from local businesses, or could be simple things donated by your friends, family or colleagues, like an extra special Christmas cake, biscuits or other homemade offerings. 4 Food! Ask your team of helpers to make, bake and sell some extra treats mince pies, mulled wine, tree-shaped biscuits the list is endless! Or you could have a breakfast-themed event with special Santa pancakes. 5 Hold a festive-themed quiz for adults and young children. Ask for a 1 donation to take part and have a prize for the winner. Download the fun festive quiz from our website now! 6 A good way to raise more money is to spend less. Ask a local business to help you with a venue and equipment, free food or drink, decorations, prizes or the loan of a Christmas tree for the day. 7 If someone is feeling brave but finds reading or singing in public challenging, why not see if they want to raise some money through sponsorship? You can download a template sponsorship form on our website. Downloads can all be found at 6

7 More ideas for your celebration You can download the following additional materials at for your Autism Stars Christmas Party: invitation templates ticket templates poster templates (A4 and A3) a copy of this fundraising guide to share with others a Christmas Quiz, written specially for this event a list of suggested songs and readings a sponsorship form. We also have Autism Star stickers! We also have Autism Star stickers you can use for your guests or those taking part in songs and readings please to place an order. Autism and Christmas Christmas is a time for families. Times like this can remind you how important and special your loved ones are. However, it can be distressing to those with autism because of changes to the family routine, different activities, and sights and sounds. Visit our website for advice on helping a person on the autism spectrum to cope with Christmas: We have also created an information document on our Autism Stars Christmas Party website (www.autism.org.uk/autismstarsparty) for you to print off and take to your event for parents and families who are anticipating challenges around the festive season. For further advice, please contact the Autism Helpline on or complete an online enquiry form at 7

8 Raising money for The National Autistic Society The National Autistic Society is the UK s leading charity for people with autism. Together with you, we work tirelessly to make sure the right support is available for everyone living with autism and it is important we are able to continue to do this. We receive no government funding for these vital services so community fundraising is essential. Here is what fundraising in the community allows us to do: run the Autism Helpline and offer information through our website operate and support branches, regional teams and volunteers offer diagnosis at our Centre for Autism, and offer advice and advocacy training and consultancy employment support policy and campaigns, implementation of the Autism Act and lobbying the Autism Action network a sharing network for professionals. How working together to raise funds makes a difference Each penny raised and split with the NAS can make a difference. For instance: will pay for the cost of a call to the Autism Helpline. will pay for a family to attend a seminar giving them advice and training. will pay for one young person to receive in-work support and for an employer to receive training on autism and creating an autism-friendly work environment. will help pay for a full diagnosis for a child at our diagnostic and assessment centre. By working together to raise funds for our cause, we can continue to support each other and our goals for the coming year. Please consider splitting the funds raised from your party with the NAS so we can continue to provide these vital services throughout the UK. 8

9 Some practical tips for your party Health and safety It is important for any party or event that your guests are safe while having fun. Make a list or conduct a small risk assessment once you have planned the running of the day. Consider the following: if you are in a venue, learn where all your fire exits are and check they are unblocked. Find out who your first aider on site is check for obvious hazards loose wires, wet floors, faulty furniture has any audio/visual equipment been tested? Is it safe? make sure everyone sets up safely consider the weather forecast and parking as these can cause unforeseen hazards be aware of food safety and hygiene procedures and take care when preparing, cooking, storing and displaying food. Don t forget to label food clearly for those with allergies. For more information, visit Paying in money Aim to collect all donations on the day if you can. Count the money with a witness present and bank it as soon as possible. Please refer to the cover letter that came with this pack for full instructions on how to bank your money using the paying-in form. If you have any questions please get in touch at Please get in touch if you would like advice on completing any risk assessment forms. 9

10 Autism Stars Christmas Party - a handy to-do list Before the Party: Pick a suitable date hold your party in the lead-up to Christmas or even in the New Year. Try to avoid clashes with other events your guests might be attending. Decide the ways you will fundraise what do you think would work best? Use our guide for inspiration and if you need any help, do get in touch. Choose the best venue will it be a small gathering or a large community party? Invite your guests use the template invitations, personalise them and send by or make your party into an event on Facebook. Decide if you will pre-sell tickets and use them as your main source of fundraising pre-selling will also help you determine numbers. Ask for help work out all the jobs you need to complete and delegate where you can. Let people know if you want them to bring anything along. Plan ahead to make sure you can enjoy the party too! 10

11 During the Party: Make sure you have a good supply of refreshments teas and coffees for the adults and cold drinks for the children. Make sure you have a secure place for donations and a float if you are selling anything. Capture the fun ask a helper to take lots of photos of your party. These will be useful for your website, social media and for the NAS to share with supporters and other groups. After the Party: Thank everyone for their involvement and support. Tell them what a great difference they are making to the NAS and to you for people with autism. Bank your raised funds as soon as possible using the instructions provided in your cover letter. Get in touch with us to let us know how it went and send us your photos*. *By sending your photos to The National Autistic Society, it is assumed that you give permission for them to be used in any print, online or electronic materials and publications produced by the NAS or its associated companies and charities. 11

12 About The National Autistic Society We are the leading UK charity for people with autism (including Asperger syndrome) and their families. With the help of our members, supporters and volunteers we provide information, support and pioneering services, and campaign for a better world for people with autism. Around 700,000 people in the UK have autism. Together with their families they make up around 2.8 million people whose lives are touched by autism every single day. From good times to challenging times, The National Autistic Society is there at every stage, to help transform the lives of everyone living with autism. We are proud of the difference we make. The National Autistic Society 393 City Road London EC1V 1NG Switchboard: Autism Helpline: Minicom: Website: The National Autistic Society is a charity registered in England and Wales (269425) and in Scotland (SC039427) and a company limited by guarantee registered in England (No ), registered office 393 City Road, London EC1V 1NG

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