THE mother of a child with autism is urging people to donate to a disabled children’s charity after Oxfordshire saw an influx of families seek support.

Staffordshire charity Caudwell Children is providing thousands of families across the UK with packs to support young people with autism.

The charity has received more than 5,000 applications for the packs from across the UK, including 32 in Oxfordshire.

For eight-year-old Nathan Hobbs, from Abingdon, the packs have helped immensely.

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His mum, Kelly, said: “Nathan uses the items in his pack every day, whether he is using them himself or we use them on him.

“They have been an incredible help during his meltdowns and we have managed to calm him much more safely.

“I would have never been able to afford those items on their own or even thought about some of the items that came in the pack.

“For example, the sisal brush – which Nathan uses the most now – I would have never thought to buy one of those.

“Nathan uses the sisal brush to brush it against his skin, whether that be on his arms or legs.

“He particularly likes it against his back while he settles for the evening.

“He loves watching the colours of the fibre optic lamp change and it calms his mood, he gets great satisfaction from just holding and touching it.

“The entire pack is amazing and he uses all the items for various things but these two are his favourite – he has recognised the pack as his special calming down tools and he will go and get them as he needs them.

“The pack has helped him regulate his emotions and also helped him to settle down in the evenings, we are extremely grateful to be one of the families lucky enough to receive the support from Caudwell Children.”

Oxford Mail: Nathan Hobbs enjoys his space blanket, part of the packsNathan Hobbs enjoys his space blanket, part of the packs

Among items in the ‘Get Sensory’ packs are a sisal brush, fibre optic lamps, four-ball massager, weighted cushion and scented bubbles.

Trudi Beswick, chief executive officer of Caudwell Children, said: “The demand for our Get Sensory packs has been enormous in recent weeks as the decrease in access to specialist facilities and services due to the pandemic has affected families up and down the country.

“We want to support every parent who has come to us for help and we want to do that as quickly as we can.

“To achieve that goal we need extra support, no donation is too small.

“It’s so encouraging to hear stories like Nathan’s, please support us if you can.”