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Flower Lane provides specialist support to people on the autism spectrum.

We offer a diverse range of activities within our main centre and out in the community.

Our experienced staff work with individuals to build upon their existing skills, helping them to become more independent and enjoy life to the full.

Contact us

Phone: 020 8359 6434
Email: flowerlane@yourchoicebarnet.org

For general enquiries about Your Choice Barnet visit our contact us page

What we offer

Our experienced staff work with individuals to build upon their existing skills, helping them to become more independent and enjoy life to the full.

We work with service users and significant others to agree individual plans and provide daily progress updates.

We provide a range of innovative techniques to support service users including:

  • TEACCH – the treatment and education of autistic and related communication with handicapped children
  • Makaton – language programme using signs and symbols
  • Intensive interaction – approach to teaching the pre-speech fundaments of communication.

Activities

We offer a varied timetable of activities to all of our service users in small groups.

Where appropriate we encourage service users to take part in a variety of community activities. These include:

  • shopping
  • library visits
  • swimming
  • horse riding
  • trampoline
  • gym
  • travel training
  • pottery
  • photography
  • walking/hiking groups
  • music sessions with the London Symphony Orchestra.

We also have a daily group that takes part in a shop and cook session, teaching the basics of decision making and culinary skills.

Freshly cooked meals are available for all service users, with an emphasis on choice and a healthy lifestyle.

Our centre

Our state-of-the-art-centre provides a range of facilities that are specially designed for people with autism. It is decorated with neutral colours to offer a calm and low stimulus environment.

Rooms include:

  • a sensory and relaxation room
  • massage and aromatherapy
  • three gardens maintained by service users and staff
  • bird’s nest swing and sensory activities
  • training kitchen
  • art and wood work sessions.

Two recent examples of successful transition

Despite many differences, both individuals struggled initially with transitioning into the Flower Lane building. Staff were highly creative in encouraging and motivating them to enter a new environment and used many different methods including the use of musical instruments, singing, computer based tasks, dance and personalised communication techniques to enter the ‘world’ of each individual.

Both individuals are now active members of the centre and after months of very slow and patient transition steps and much to their parents’ surprise, are now full members of a weekly swimming group which they thoroughly enjoy. Despite enjoying swimming, both had struggled for several years with the transition of getting into the pool and entering unfamiliar environments.

Staff worked very patiently to understand each individual’s communication style and motivating factors and developed an understanding of when to respect choice but when to challenge behaviours that were self restricting for each individual. This opportunity has enriched and extended the individuals’ sensory experiences and has helped to boost their confidence, independence and build their trust in others, which is incredibly valuable.

We continue to work on expanding their horizons in a structured and person-centred way, improving the quality of their lives and opportunities.

“My life is getting better and better”

Michael has made outstanding progress within the last two years. When he first came to Flower Lanehe showed many unpredictable and anti-social behaviours which restricted his world considerably.

An holistic approach to try and encourage him to improve his own behaviour, coupled with a slight change in medication and partnered with lots of positive reinforcement by staff and behavioural input, began to work. Michael adopted more roles and responsibilities within the centre and appeared to enjoy the positive interaction he received as a consequence.

His old behaviours have not been seen for some time – he is now an active member of the community and has two work experience opportunities within the local community. He has experience of interviewing, both within Flower Lane and outside, having been part of the recruitment panel for health colleagues and also for another service provider. He was the Barnet Group’s 2013 Award Winner for ‘Health and Wellbeing’ and was particularly proud in his new suit at the Mayor’s Ball this year.

His success is largely down to his own initiative and desire to change, but a consistent and steady holistic approach from all those involved in his life has enabled him to lead a much happier and fulfilling life. We share with him in his pride in his own achievements – “My life is just getting better and better.”

By service user Michael Isaacs

“I’m a table monitor, which means I call people when it’s time for their lunch. I like the role and today I’m helping with a Diwali lunch.

“I’ve been at Flower Lane since 2005. It’s very nice and I enjoy it. I particularly enjoy going to Edgware. We have a walk around the shops and get some drinks. I like looking at Poundland and meeting other people.

“Sometimes I go to the library and take some books out. I like different types of books and especially children’s books.

“I live in a flat on my own with help from a support worker. I’m Jewish and I also help with Norwood which is a Jewish charity.

“I am proud of myself now and my life is getting better and better.”

Service manager Lyn Huddleston

G’s transformation through his love of music

G’s eyes never left his support worker’s face as Kevin described G’s remarkable progress over the last few weeks. G, from an orthodox background, had been very withdrawn and uncommunicative when he first came to Flower Lane three months ago, averting his eyes when people spoke to him and being noticeably uncomfortable in the company of women.

His mother mentioned his love of music, so on G’s day at the service on Mondays Kevin suggested he tried out the Monday Club. This is an amazing initiative in partnership with the London Symphony Orchestra, where musicians support service users and children with special needs to play an instrument. G took to percussion, in particular the drums, and gave an impromptu demonstration as Kevin told us his story. He smiled and made eye contact with me, a total stranger until half an hour before, and female as well!

He now comes to Flower Lane two days a week, and his mother says he lives for his time at the service. His confidence and sociability has developed to such an extent that he now goes to the library with a member of staff each week, followed by a visit to Deli Express. G is engaging so much more with staff and people alike, even turning round on a recent walk to tell someone to “Come on, hurry up!”

R’s bench

R proudly led me to a bench in the garden at Flower Lane. He’d been to Homebase earlier in the week for the first time ever and chosen green for the bench, which he’d painstakingly painted to blend in with the background. Inspired by his handiwork, R had the confidence to walk me on a guided tour of the beautiful garden, before returning to pose carefully for a photograph on his bench.

No words were needed, his huge beam spoke volumes.

A ‘wow’ moment

“I was really struggling with the photocopier yesterday, watched by J and M. J was having one of his morose moods, and M was just observing. I said as a jokey challenge, “I need a man!” Both men jumped to it, falling over each other in their eagerness to help me. Chivalry is not dead at Flower Lane!”

Service manager Lyn Huddleston

A recent compliment from a parent

“We are so grateful for your caring input. Our son seems so happy and stimulated. The holiday chart/game is fabulous. Lyn and her team are standard setters – the most amazing role models for everyone in this line of work. Bless you all!”