PACT for Autism: Time Credits fun in London

Michael, 34, and his mother Alison, 58, reside in Harlow and have been volunteering together on a weekly basis at PACT for Autism for more than 2 years. Time Credits were introduced to them in November 2019. Although Michael and Alison have only been earning Time Credits for a few months, they have already seen a positive value in being able to earn them through the support that they provide in the organisation and they have already spent them together on a day out in London!

Michael started volunteer with PACT for Autism 4 years ago. He is a care-worker by profession and works with young adults who have Autism and learning difficulties. He, himself, was diagnosed with Asperger’s and strongly believes that the opportunities he has had to volunteer and earn Time Credits at PACT for Autism, by supporting families during swimming activities, day trips out with service users and organising large auction events, have really made a difference to his outlook on life and developed his communication skills.

“I’ve loved teaching my mum and getting her involved into something I’m so passionate about. We used our Time Credits for the first-time on a day trip to London last year at Tower Bridge and St. Pauls Cathedral. It was a real reward for us as we had fun spending time together without it costing a fortune!”

Alison got involved with PACT for Autism 2 years ago, after she found herself feeling isolated due to being made redundant from her job and suffering from a back injury. “As an active person, I was so worried I would be bored during my recovery and didn’t know what to do, but after Michael got me involved in PACT, I felt my confidence return. I started meeting new people and using my fundraising and organisational skills at information stalls and fundraising events… where I’m now known for being the “queen for getting money out from people!”.

Alison feels she is even more valued for her contribution to PACT for Autism with the Time Credits she earns.

“It’s been so lovely to get recognised for the work that I do where I feel like I am making a difference. It’s been a treat to be able to enjoy quality time with my son and Time Credits has encouraged us to explore new activities together that we would not have tried before.”

Both Alison and Michael have loved spending their Time Credits. Michael explained that it was his first time visiting the London attractions and he would not have felt motivated to visit if it hadn’t been for Time Credits. “We had a lovely day out and the staff at both Tower Bridge and St. Pauls were so friendly. It was such a smooth process, much more than I had expected!”.

“We loved the architecture and the views at Tower Bridge, and I will definitely be going again!” Alison describes, with a big smile on her face.

Both Michael and Alison feel that being recognised with Time Credits for their voluntary work with PACT for Autism has been a very rewarding experience and has given them new opportunities to explore and improve their wellbeing. Alison is planning her next Time Credit activity with excitement – she wants to pursue her creative interest with Time Credits and learn flower arranging at Adult Community Learning Centre (ACL) in Harlow. Michael also feels inspired to try out new activities in London, like visiting the Monument and going to musicals in London, as he loves to sing.

“I can’t wait to make a really great day of it again, using my Time Credits!” says Michael.