Other Activities

Bolton Adult Autism Support

Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

 Bolton Adult Autism Support (BAAS) is delighted to inform our parents/ carers and our friends throughout Bolton that this year (2020) we have been awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service to the autistic community of Bolton. When we were first established in 2013 never could we have imagined that only seven years hence we would be the recipient of this most prestigious award. The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Recipients are announced each year on 2nd June, the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation. BAAS is one of only two Bolton based organisations to win the award and one of only two hundred and thirty nationwide in 2020.

The journey from our inception in 2013 through to our becoming a registered charity in June 2015 to the present day has been, at times, a tough one. However, whilst often difficult the journey has not been without its high points and perhaps two milestones that are significant are the enormously successful seminar which the trustees and our family members achieved in July 2015, and the launch of our Befriending Plus service in 2018 and the appointment of our first Befriending Coordinator. The seminar attracted 175 registered attendees from both the autistic community and from professionals alike and which was supported financially by Bolton Council and was acclaimed by all those who attended. Not only was it well attended by local organisations but attracted also speakers of international repute.

Our Befriending service was the result of long term planning and determination on the part of our trustees who saw the Befriending service as a much needed and timely expansion of our services to the Bolton’s autism community.

We are currently, like a great many charitable organisations, having to adapt to the delivery of services because of the Covid-19 pandemic.  Many of our services are currently delivered ‘virtually’ and we all look forward to resuming our face to face contact with autistic vulnerable adults and carers.

Even our receipt of the Queen’s award could not take place except via Zoom. This happened in October and was itself attended by the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Diane Hawkins and by Bolton’s Mayor, Councillor Linda Thomas.  Despite the above-mentioned achievements we fully recognise that little of it could have been achieved without the financial and moral support and encouragement of so many organisations that have over time become our friends, and for which we are and always shall be most grateful.


We are offering a new Budgeting Support Service beginning with an initial presentation on a Thursday in March.

We all know how hard it is for people with Autism to multitask. That is why we started the cookery classes before lockdown. Now we have introduced a Budgeting Service. This will begin with a presentation at the Thicketford Centre in March followed by one-one support for everyone. This will include sorting your financial problems out from start to finish and, teaching you the skills needed to plan your own finances. We will send out the date of the presentation nearer the time.

As part of the BAAS Befriending Plus service, we offer free Social and Life-skills evenings.

These are run once a month from the autism centre at Thicketford, every 3rd Thursday of the month from 7 pm until 9 pm.

Unfortunately due to the pandemic, we are not holding face-to-face meetings until the lockdown has been lifted. Feel free to contact anyone for a chat.

Autistic individuals over 18 years old and their parents/carers are welcome. You can stay as long as you like, whether it be ten minutes or more, up to the full two hours. You are also free to come and go whenever you please.

Parents and carers will have an opportunity to ‘break off’ into another room if they feel a parents/carers drop-in chat is needed. A quiet, dark room is also provided for those who need it.


It’s important for us to inform you that there will be no pressure to ‘join in’. Everything is very calm, and everyone is welcome to join in at their own pace.


Here are some of the things we get up to at our monthly group:


Our Septemeber 2019 Social and life-skills evening was very well attended! Running every 3rd Thursday of the month @ Thicketford autism centre 7pm-9pm

Carers Christmas bring and share buffet – Wednesday 29th November 2017

Our Annual General Meeting was followed by a hot and cold festive fair which was yet again delicious.

Carers Christmas bring and share buffet – Wednesday 16th December 2015

Xmas Buffet

A short meeting was followed by a bring and share buffet which was absolutely delicious.

ASDA, Astley Bridge, Bolton store donation to BAAS June 2015

Graham Heywood receiving a cheque on behalf of BAAS from Christine Baldwin, Asda's Community Engagement Officer, Astley Bridge Store

Graham Heywood receiving a cheque on behalf of BAAS from Christine Baldwin, Asda’s Community Engagement Officer, Astley Bridge Store In June 2015.

Photo taken by Christine Baldwin of Asda Astley Bridge presenting Graham with a cheque as part of their ‘CHOSEN BY YOU’ event that is part of Asda’s Charitable Foundation.

Bolton Community & Voluntary Services AGM 15th October 2014

Held at ‘The Lion of Vienna Suite’, Macron Stadium.


From left to right Barbara Brooks, Eira Heywood and Chairman, Graham Heywood ‘manning’ the BAAS stall.