Welcome to The Simon Trust.
As a parent of a disabled child, I am fully aware of the heart-ache that is involved in bringing up a child who is "different". One not only has to deal with the day-to-day challenges, strain and isolation that it brings, but also the constant battle to obtain the care and provision that one's child so desperately needs.
One such battle is the provision of a home for these children when they become adults, especially a home that will be near enough for their own families to remain part of their lives. The Simon Trust was created to address this challenge.
In 2015 we found a perfect six-acre site in Alfold, near Cranleigh, and presented a proposal to Surrey County Council to build ten homes for severely autistic young people whose families reside in Surrey. Surrey County Council bought the site and have since developed Linden Farm, a purpose-built new development for adults with severe autism and complex needs - the first of its kind in Surrey!
The residents moved in during the autumn of 2019 and the Charity's role with all our fund-raising activities is to provide equipment, facilities and resources, to enhance and personalise Linden Farm for its residents. These "essential extras" will significantly add to their quality of life, and the notable purchases so far include a state of the art sensory room, a large shed for bicycle and gardening equipment, a 400 metre cycle track, a wonderful and fruitful Allotment, landscaping shrubs and considerable arts, crafts, electrical and musical equipment.
It has been an honour to be able to help set up this worthy charity and provide for these vulnerable young adults, and give support to their families. What was once just a dream and a vision is now coming to fruition, thanks to the tremendous support of my family, our friends and generous donors. More work however is still needed to make Linden Farm a centre of excellence for autism, with a close liaison needed between Surrey CC, Choice Care and The Simon Trust.
Thank you for taking the time to explore this website and discover more about The Simon Trust. I sincerely hope you will feel inspired by the work and fund-raising carried out so far and would like to become more involved with our charity. If so, please do get in touch via our Contact page.
New practical guide for parents
If you are the parent of a severely autistic young adult in need of a home that caters to their needs, please read the practical guide we have published on our OTHER HOMES page. This guide explains the steps you might take to work with other parents and your local council to set up a home for life, using Linden Farm in Surrey as the blueprint.
BBC Interview - Listen Here
Sally Lawrence was recently interviewed on BBC Access All about setting up a home for autistic adults, and how others might go about doing the same.
Listen here from 12:10.
A Lifelong Home for Autism in Your County
If you have recently seen an article or on the BBC about finding somewhere for your young adult to live, then please visit our OTHER HOMES page for more details and support.
We have had over 300 responses from desperate parents all over the UK and we are putting them in contact with each other in their particular county, to work with Social Services to hopefully build a suitable home in county, for their sons or daughters.
The village of Seale and The Sands organised their 2023 Carol Singing event in aid of The Simon Trust, and gathered donations of £245. An enjoyable evening with a large turnout of locals and the excellent Shuffle Tunes choir to keep us all going. Thank you to everyone involved.
Cycle Track Official Opening
The long-awaited 400 metre cycle track, financed by The Simon Trust, was officially opened by Dame Stephanie Shirley CH on 12th June 2023 in front of 80 supporters of The Simon Trust and Linden Farm.
Find out more about the event on our News page.
The Simon Trust at The Autism Show
Choice Care invited Sally and Peter Lawrence to speak on their behalf on 9th June 2023 at the Autism Show in London about the benefits of supported living and how to build a fulfilling place to live for young adults with autism. Read more on our News page.
New units and a kitchen worktop have been installed in the Cookery Room which will provide much needed work space for the young people to improve their cookery skills.
See News page for more