The Ugly Duckling project is a godsend to two of my ex pupils. The boys are both autistic and too anxious to attend college - although we set up supported transition tasters. Other than the Ugly Duckling project, both boys hardly leave their homes and spend much of the time on their computer games. They do not socialise or engage in any peer interactions. As well as engaging them in practical activities at the project, Maria is actively looking for other volunteer opportunities for the boys and trying to move them forward in achieving some independence and gaining work skills. There are no other such opportunities in the local area - if the Ugly Duckling Project is not funded - these boys would become totally socially isolated in a very short period of time.
Acting Deputy Head. Andover Education Centre
'B' always loved coming to Ugly Duckling and he loved the people he worked with there. I only wish we had found Ugly Duckling earlier in his journey living with dementia. I know he would have benefited from coming sooner. It was lovely knowing that he was happy going to Ugly Duckling and gave me precious respite time".
Ugly Duckling was a godsend for Ernie. He loved coming as he felt that he was doing something useful, he loved the people and the environment. He enjoyed mixing with the staff and volunteers and although he needed help to do things, he felt that he had achieved something. I never had any trouble getting him to come. The people at Ugly Duckling took the time to find out what Ernie enjoyed such as classical music and tried to include this in the activities. Whilst he was there, I could have time to myself and relax in the knowledge that he was happy, safe and cared for. There is nothing else like Ugly Duckling for people with dementia.
I feel that Ugly Duckling gives people self-confidence, self-esteem and self-worth and helps them start again after they have been through bad times. It has really helped me!
Before I came here I didn't go out. Ugly Duckling has helped me mix with and trust people again. It has built my self-confidence. Eventually I hope to be able to work again.